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A Voyage to the Moon 

Cyrano de Bergerac. 

("All weary with the earth too soon, 
I took my flight into the skies, 
Beholding there the sun and moon 
Where now the Gods confront my eyes.") 

-Front a 17th Century Engraving of the original portrait 
by Zacharie Heince, 











V , 

Copyright, 1899, by 



Cyrano Bergerac, . . . . vii 

Note on the Translation, . . . xxviii 

The Translator to the Reader, . . . r 
Title-page of Lovell's Translation of The 
Comical History of the States and Em- 
pires of the World of the Moon : London, 
1687. 7 


I . — Of how the Voyage was Conceived, 9 
II. — Of How the Author set out, and 

where he first arrived, . .15 

III. — Of his Conversation with the Vice- 
Roy of New France ; and of the 
system of this Universe, . . 22 
IV. — Of how at last he set out again for 
the Moon, tho without his own 

Will. 37 

V. — Of his Arrival there, and of the 
Beauty of that Country in which 
he fell, . . . . .43 
VI. — Of a Youth whom he met there, 
and of their Conversation : what 
that country was, and the Inhab- 
itants of it, 51 

VII. — Being cast out from that Country, 
of the new Adventures which Be- 
fell him ; and of the Demon of 
Socrates, 71 


Savinien-Hercnle de Cyrano Berge- 
rac, swashbuckler, hero, poet, and phi- 
losopher, came of an old and noble fam- 
ily, richer in titles than in estates. His 
grandfather still kept most of the titles, 
and was called Savinien de Cyrano 
Mauvieres Bergerac Saint - Laurent. 
He was secretary to the King in 15 71, 
and held other important offices. Since 
there was no absolute right of primo- 
geniture in those matters, the names, 
as well as what was left of the proper- 
ties they had represented, were distrib- 
uted among his descendants. Our hero 
seems to have received a fair share of 
the titles ; but of the property, nothing. 

He was the fifth among seven chil- 
dren, and was born on the 6th of 
March, 1619; not in 1620, as has been 
usually stated. He was born, more- 
over, at Paris, not in Gascony ; we must, 

viii A Voyage to the Moon 

alas, admit that he was not a Gascon. 
He ought to have been one, he cer- 
tainly deserved to be one. But For- 
tune, who seems to have taken pleasure 
in always making him just miss his des- 
tiny, began by doing him this first and 
greatest wrong of not letting him be 
born a Gascon. The family was not 
even of distant Gascon origin, but was 
Perigourdin ; Bergerac itself is a small 
town near Perigueux. Cyrano, how- 
ever, did his best to repair this as 
well as the other wrongs of Destiny; 
he acquired the Gascon accent, and 
often made himself pass for a Gascon. 

The fortune of his early education 
made him fall into the hands of a coun- 
try curate, who was an insufferable 
pedant (the species seems to have been 
common at that time), and who had no 
real scholarship (the two things are 
by no means contradictory). Cyrano 
dubbed his master an " Aristotelic Ass, '' 
and wrote to his father that he pre- 
ferred Paris. 

This period of exile had one very im- 

Cyrano Bergerac ix 

portant result, however : the formation 
of his first and most lasting friendship, 
that with Lebret, who shared in the 
instruction of the country curate, but 
with a more docile acceptance of his 
teachings. Here again Fortune seems 
to have played tricks with Cyrano, in 
giving him by accident for life-long 
friend one who just missed being what 
a real friend should be ; who was true 
and loyal, but who was always seeking 
to reform Cyrano or to push him for- 
ward in the world; who admired him, 
who loved him, but who was of such 
opposite nature that he understood him 
not at all. 

Back at Paris, Cyrano was sent to the 
College de Beauvais — afterward Ra- 
cine's college — where he completed the 
course, under the principalship of an- 
other pedant named Grangier, who was 
a little more scholarly, but no less ridic- 
ulous than the first, and who figures 
in the leading role of Cyrano's comedy 
Le PMayit joite. He lived the Paris 
student's life, burninof honest trades- 

X A Voyage to the Moon 

men's signs and ^' doing other crazy 
things," as his contemporary Talle- 
mant des Reanx tells ns. On leaving 
college he started upon a downward 
track, according to Lebret ; " on which, '* 
says the same good Lebret, " I dare to 
boast that I stopped him ... by com- 
pelling him to enter the company of 
the Guards with me." It may be 
doubted whether a temporary suspen- 
sion of the paternal allowance had 
nothing to do with the matter; and 
whether, after all, Cyrano felt so much 
repugnance to entering this company 
of the Guards. 

For this company was the famous 
regiment of the "garde-nobles," com- 
manded by Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, 
a '' triple Gascon " and a '' triple brave. " 
And his men were hardly a step behind 
him, all of them nobles — that was an 
essential condition of entrance — and 
almost all of them Gascons. Cyrano, 
at first in the position rather of the 
Christian than of the Cyrano of M. 
Rostand's play, by his gallantry and 

Cyrano Bergerac xi 

wit compelled them to accept him, and 
even won among these "braves" the 
titl^ of '' dimon de la bravotcre.'' Un- 
able to be the most Gascon of the Gas- 
cons, he made it up by being more 
Gascon than the Gascons. 

Among his exploits the most fa- 
mous is that of the fight with the hun- 
dred ruffians; for this appears to be 
not a dramatic creation or a legend, 
but history. One of his poet-friends, 
Liniere (the name is sometimes spelt 
Ligniere) a writer of epigram and con- 
tributor to the " Recueils " or " Keep- 
sakes " of the epoch, had wounded the 
susceptibilities of a certain "grand 
seigne-ar," who planned to avenge him- 
self by the same method which another 
noble lord, in the eighteenth century, 
actually used against Voltaire. He 
posted his hundred men at the Porte 
de Nesle, to waylay Liniere. Liniere, 
hearing of it, came to take refuge with 
Cyrano for the night. But Cyrano 
would not receive him. " No, you shall 
sleep at home," said he. "Here, take 

xii A Voyage to the Moon 

this lantern " (this is M. Brun's ver- 
sion), "walk behind me and hold the 
light, and I'll make bed-quilts of them 
for you!" And the next morning 
there were found scattered about the 
Porte de Nesle two dead men, seven 
wounded, and many hats, sticks, and 

According to Lebret's account, the 
battle took place in broad daylight, and 
had several witnesses. For the rest, 
his story coincides with that above. 
And all versions agree in saying that 
M. de Cuigy and M. de Brissailles — 
both men of the time fairly well known : 
one the son of an Advocate of the Par- 
liament of Paris, the other Mestre de 
Camp of the Prince de Conti's regi- 
ment — bore witness to the facts; and 
that the story became generally known, 
and was never denied. Perhaps it will 
not be well to guarantee the exactness 
of the number one hundred; but the 
story must be for the most part true. 

Another exploit, less magnificent, but 
perhaps as characteristic of the wild 

Cyrano Bergerac xiii 

.temper of Cyrano, is his battle with 
Fagotin. A mountebank named Brio- 
che had a theatre of marionnettes, near 
the Pont-Neuf, and used an ape called 
Fagotin, fantastically dressed, to at- 
tract spectators. Some enemy of Cy- 
rano, perhaps Dassoucy, one day per- 
suaded Brioche to dress his ape up in 
imitation of Cyrano, with long sword 
and nose as long. Cyrano, arriving 
and seeing this parody of himself ex- 
alted on a platform, unsheathes in blind 
rage, drives the crowd of lackeys and 
loafers right and left with the flat of 
his sword, and impales the poor ape 
who was holding out his sword in a 
posture of self-defence. According to 
the contemporary pamphlet, partly in 
prose and partly in verse, which was 
made upon this marvellous adventure, 
Brioche brought suit for damages 
against Bergerac. But even in these 
ridiculous circumstances Cyrano man- 
aged to get the laughers on his side ; and 
claiming that in the country of art there 
was no such thing as gold and silver, and 

xvi A Voyage to the Moon 

sendi, where he had for fellow-students 
Hesnaut, Chapelle, Bernier, and almost 
certainly a young Jean-Baptiste Poque- 
lin, who was very soon to take the name 
of Moliere, found the '' Illustre Thea- 
tre/* and after its failure start on a fif- 
teen years' tour of the provinces. 

Cyrano was an earnest and capable 
student of philosophy, and came to it 
with the fresh interest not only of his 
own personalit)^, but of a young man 
of barely twenty-two ; he naturally im- 
posed himself as a sort of leader in 
the group of young '^libertins " or free- 
thinkers, just as he had done among 
the Guards. He knew well not only 
Gassendi, but also Campanella, and of 
course Descartes, in his works at least. 
He even seems to have read widely 
among the half-philosophers, half -occul- 
tists of the fifteenth and early sixteenth 
centuries, such as Cornelius Agrippa, 
Jerome Cardan, Abbot Tritheim, Cesar 
de Nostradamus, etc. Among the an- 
cients, his first favorites were Lucre- 
tius and Pyrrho : Pyrrho whom he es- 

Cyrano Bergerac xvii 

pecially admired, ''because he was so 
nobly free, that no thinker of his age 
had been able to enslave his opinions ; 
and so modest, that he would never 
give final decision on any point." 
There is much of Cyrano in this phrase, 
both in the half-bold modesty and in the 
half-timid fierceness of independence. 
Cyrano shuddered at the thought of 
having even a single one of his ideas 
enslaved to those of another thinker. 
Just as he had refused the Marechal de 
Gassion for patron when he was in the 
Guards, so he would accept no one's 
magister dixit ^ no patron of his thought, 
not even the Aristotle of the Schools. 

The period of his life from 1643 to 
1653 is a very obscure one. Yet prob- 
ably almost all of his works were com- 
posed during this time. He may have 
travelled ; there are traditions and sug- 
gestions that he visited England, Italy, 
even Poland. He probably stood in 
danger of persecution from the Jesuits 
on account of his philosophical ideas, 
and may have suflEered it, as did his 

xviii A Voyage to the Moon 

contemporaries Campanella and Gali- 
leo, or, to mention a French poet only 
a little older than he, Thiophile de Viaii, 
who was even condemned to death 
for less independence than Cyrano *s; 
though the sentence was fortunately 
commuted. He probably mingled 
somewhat in the society of the " Pre- 
cieuses " of the time as well as in that 
of the "libertins"; for he has left a 
series of *^ Love-Letters " which must 
almost exactly have suited the taste of 
those who prepared Discourses on the 
Tender Passion. He probably had 
many duels still, for Lebret tells us 
that he served a hundred times as sec- 
ond — the round number is to be taken 
as such — and any one acquainted with 
the epoch, or with the Three Musket- 
eers of Dumas, knows that the seconds 
fought as well as the principals. Le- 
bret adds, to be sure, that he never 
had a quarrel on his own account, but 
we may perhaps take this as a bit 
of the conscientious '* white-washing " 
which Lebret could not refrain from 

Cyrano Bergerac xix 

in speaking of his friend's reputa- 
tion ; for we know enough of his char- 
acter even from Lebret, and of his life 
from other sources, to make a gentle 
peacefulness, so out of keeping with 
the epoch, somewhat doubtful; and 
then — there was his nose. 

The Nose is authentic also. It ap-- 
pears in all the portraits, of which there 
are four. And in all of these it is the 
same : not a little ugly nose, flat at the 
top and projecting at the bottom in a 
little long gable turned up at the end ; 
but a large, generous, well-shaped nose, 
hooked rather than retrousse, and plant- 
ed squarely in the symmetrical middle 
of the face; not ridiculous, but monu- 
mental! The anecdotes of the duels 
it caused are so many, that one comes 
in spite of oneself to believe some of 
them. It is said that this nose brought 
death upon more than ten persons ; that 
one could not look upon it, but he must 
unsheathe ; if one looked away, it was 
worse; and as for speaking of Noses, 
that was a subject which Cyrano re- 

XX A Voyage to the Moon 

served for himself, to do it fitting honor. 
Listen to his treatment of it in the 
Pedant j out' : " This veridic nose arrives 
everywhere a quarter of an hour before 
its master. Ten shoemakers, good 
round fat ones too, go and sit down 
to work under it out of the rain." As 
for defending large noses, as the index 
of valor, intelligence, and all high quali- 
ties, it will appear in the Voyage to the 
Moon that he could do it as well with 
his pen as with his S'^'^rd. 

The end of his li' was difficult and 
sad. He was fina. ^ compelled to ac- 
cept the patronage of the Due d'Arpa- 
jon, for no man could live or even ex- 
ist by literature at that period, except 
as literature brought patronage or pen- 
sions. The great Corneille himself, 
than whom no one could be more sim- 
ply sturdy and high of character, wrote 
begging letters to the great minister 
who controlled the pensions of litera- 
ture. Cyrano dedicated the edition of 
his ** Miscellaneous Works" in 1654 to 
the Due d'Arpajon, in an epistle which 

Cyrano Bergerac xxi 

fulfils, but with dignity and indepen- 
dence, the laws of the genre, and accom- 
panied it with a sonnet addressed to the 
Duke's daughter, which is in the taste 
of the time, yet considerably better than 
the taste of the time. Things went 
well till Agrippme appeared, which had 
a '' succes de scandale '' ; but its " belles 
impietes," as the happy book-seller 
called them, seem to have pleased the 
timidly orthodox Duke less. In the 
meantime Cyrano had received a wound 
from a falling be r— whether by mere 
accident or not, ^ "I never be known; 
but Cyrano had many enemies, and it 
has generally been thought that there 
was purpose behind the accident. For 
whatever reason, the Due d'Arpajon 
seems to have advised Cyrano to leave 
him, and Cyrano was received by Reg- 
nault des Bois-Clairs, a friend of Le- 
bret. There he was kindly cared for 
— and lectured on the evil of his past 
life — by Lebret and three women of 
the Convent of the Daughters of the 
Cross: Soeur Hyacinthe, an aunt of 

xxii A Voyage to the Moon 

Cyrano himself; Mere Marguerite, the 
superior of the convent; and the Ba- 
ronne de Neuvillette, a cousin of Cy- 
rano, who was Madeleine Robineau, 
and had married the Baron Christophe 
de Neuvillette, killed at the siege of 
Arras in 1640. The three women per- 
suaded themselves that they had con- 
verted Cyrano to the true Church. This 
is doubtful, since he dragged himself 
away to the country to die, at the 
house of the cousin whom he speaks 
of at the end of the Voyage to the 
Moon, In any case, Mere Marguerite 
reclaimed his body, and he was buried 
in holy ground at the convent. 

The Voyage to the Moon was not pub- 
lished till 1656, the year after Cyrano's 
death. It was certainly written as early 
as 1650, probably in 1649. It had been 
circulated widely in manuscript, and 
possibly a few copies had been printed, 
before the author's death. The Voyage 
to the Sun, or, to give the title more 
accurately, the " Comic History of the 
States and Empires of the Sun," was 

Cyrano Bergerac xxiii 

probably written immediately after the 
Voyage to the Moo7i^ but was not pub- 
lished till 1662. The History of the 
Spark has never been found, unless 
that be the sub-title of a part of the 
Voyage to the Sitn^ as seems fairly prob- 

The Letters of Cyrano are, in part 
at least, his earliest work. They were 
probably scattered over a considerable 
period in point of composition, but 
most of them were published in 1654. 
It is to be remembered that like all the 
letters of that epoch which we have, 
they were meant to be read in company, 
in the salojis^ or sometimes (like that 
"Against Dassoucy"), in the taverns, 
corresponding to the modern cafes, 
where men of letters gathered. They 
were written not for the postman, but 
for the parlor ; and not so much for the 
parlor as for the printer. But even 
with the artificiality of this method, 
and with the burlesque or precieuse 
expression that was obligatory in Let- 
ters at that time, there are touches of 

xxiv A Voyage to the Moon 

real sincerity and passion constantly 
breaking through. 

The Pedant joiie is a prose-comedy 
in five acts, made almost entirely on the 
model of the Italian " commedia dell' 
arte," a form in which Moliere's early 
work is written, and which was practi- 
cally the only form known at the time 
when Cyrano wrote — for the play is 
certainly anterior to Corneille's Moi- 
teur. We have the almost obligatory 
two pairs of young lovers ; the old fa- 
ther who is tyrannical but easily de- 
ceived — in this particular case combined 
with the pedant-doctor type ; the valet 
who does the deceiving, in the service 
of the young lovers; and the terrible 
captain, who takes flight at the shadow 
of danger. Cyrano has, however, in- 
troduced one new type — a peasant with 
his dialect and local characteristics: a 
t3^pe that Moliere used to great advan- 
tage later, but hardly so very much bet- 
ter than Cyrano uses it here; witness 
the fact that a number of this peasant's 
phrases have become proverbs. The 

Cyrano Bergerac xxv 

famous scene of " qn'allait-il faire dans 
cette galere '' (despairingly repeated by 
the father who is compelled to give np 
his cherished money for the ransom of 
a son held in captivity — supposedly — 
on a Turkish galley) is exceedingly well 
imagined, and Moliere did well to use 
it, sixteen years after Cyrano's death, 
for the two best scenes of his Fourberics 
de Scapin. It is not a matter to re- 
proach Moliere with, but it is a case in 
which Cyrano should receive due credit. 
The only serious poetical work of 
Cyrano is his tragedy of Agrippine^ 
veuve de Gerinaniciis^ written at some 
time in the forties, played in 1653, and 
published in 1654. The statement, 
repeated categorically by Mr. Sidney 
Lee in his recent Life of Shakespeare, 
that " Cyrano de Bergerac plagiarized 
* Cymbeline,' ' Hamlet,* and ' The Mer- 
chant of Venice ' in his 'Agrippina, ' " 
has not the slightest foundation. ' There 
are no resemblances, either superficial 
or essential, on which to base it, and it 
is altogether improbable that Cyrano 

jcxvi A Voyage to the Moon 

even knew of Shakespeare's existence. 
The subject of Agrippine is simi- 
lar to that of Corneille's Ciniia — a 
conspiracy tinder the Roman Empire. 
There are no resemblances to Cor- 
neille's work in the details of the plot, 
but in general spirit the play is what 
we call Cornelian, partly because Cor- 
neille was the only one who possessed 
this spirit of the epoch with sufficient 
creative and individual power to com- 
pel the attention of posterity. Cyrano, 
once more, just missed this. But his 
play is worthy not only to be ranked 
with the best dramas of any of his con- 
temporaries except Corneille, but even 
to be at least compared with Cor- 
neille's better work (except perhaps 
the Cid and Polyeucte), The play is 
not thoroughly well constructed, and 
so misses something of dramatic effec- 
tiveness, though by no means miss- 
ing it entirely; but it is as well con- 
structed as Corneille's China ^ and bet- 
ter than his Horace — to take examples 
only among his greatest plays. It has 
no scene to compare with that of the 

Cyrano Bergerac xxvii 

clemency of Augustus in Cinna^ no 
character-study so fine as that of the 
different sentiments of Augustus. But 
it approaches, though it does not quite 
attain, the heroics of Horace. It is full 
of exaggeration — so is Corneille; and 
of an exaggeration that sometimes be- 
comes burlesque — as in Corneille ; but 
it is an exaggeration that is high and 
heroic, like Corneille 's. And the high 
and heroic sometimes — as in a line like 

Et puis, mourir n'est rien ; c'est achever de 
naitre — 

sometimes, but too rarely, drops its 
exaggeration to become simple — as 
simple as real heroism, which is the 
simplest thing in the world. 

Except real genius. Real genius is, 
finally, the essential thing, which Cy- 
rano once more just missed attaining 
— missed just by the lack of that sim- 
plicity, perhaps. But exaggeration, 
sometimes carried to the burlesque, is 
the essential trait which makes him 
what he is ; and we cannot wish it away. 
Curtis Hidden Page. 


There have been at least three trans- 
lations into English of the Voyage to the 
Moon : that alluded to on page i ; the 
present translation; and one made in 
the eighteenth century by Samuel Der- 
rick. The last is dedicated to the Earl 
of Orrery, author of " Remarks on the 
Life and Writings of Jonathan Swift," 
and attributes its '' call from obscurity " 
to "your Lordship' s mentioning it in 
your Life of Swiff as having served 
for inspiration to Gulliver's Travels. 

Samuel Derrick's translation, how- 
ever, is not so good as that of A. Lov- 
ell. The seventeenth century transla- 
tion is more flowery and fanciful, and 
by that very fact closer to the original. 
For though the Voyage to the Moon is 
the most sober in style of Cyrano's 
works, yet there are still many touches 
of the ** high fantastical '* in its manner 

Note on the Translation xxix 

as well as in its substance. The eigh- 
teenth century translator has toned 
down the style to make it more accep- 
table to that age of reason and regular- 
ity. It is still another case of the irony 
of Fate pursuing Cyrano; the regular- 
ists of seventeenth century literature 
in France, against whom he struggled 
so swashbucklerly, had completely tri- 
umphed and spread their influence over 
Europe ; so that even in the land where 
liberty and individuality are native, 
his work had to suffer correction in all 
its most fanciful passages. There are 
constant omissions of phrases or sen- 
tences in the eighteenth century trans- 
lation, and there are also numerous 
mistakes, as well as many points missed. 
The seventeenth century translation, on 
the other hand, is faithful throughout 
to its original, and accurate as well as 

The translation has been compared 
throughout with the French of the edi- 
tion of 1 66 1, and the two or three slight 
corrections needed have been made in 

XXX A Voyage to the Moon 

foot-notes. Except for the breaking 
up of some very long paragraphs, and 
slight changes in punctuation when 
necessary for clearness, the text has 
been reprinted as exactly as possible. 
All changes or additions, except the 
correction of evident misprints, have 
been bracketed. 

C. H. P. 





It is now Seven and Twenty Years, 
since the Moon appeared first Histori- 
cally on the English Horizon : ^ And let 
it not seem strange, that she should 
have retained Light and Brightness so 
long here, without Renovation; when 

'This evidently refers to an earlier translation 
of the Voyage to the Moon^ published probably in 
1660, The present editor will be greatly obliged to 
any one who will put him on the track of a copy of 
this, or any other early translation from Cyrano, 
such as the " Satyrical Characters and handsome 
Descriptions, in Letters, written to several Persons 
of Quality, by Monsieur De Cyrano Bergerac. 
Translated from the French, by a Person of Honor. 
London, 1658." 

2 A Voyage to the Moon 

we find by Experience, that in the 
Heavens, she never fails once a Month 
to change and shift her Splendor. For 
it is the Excellency of Art, to represent 
Nature even in her absence; and this 
being a Piece done to the Life, by one 
that had the advantage of the true 
Light, as well as the Skill of Drawing, 
in this kind, to Perfection; he left so 
good an Original, which was so well 
Copied by another Hand, that the Pic- 
ture might have served for many Years 
more, to have given the Lovers of the 
Moon, a sight of their Mistress, even in 
the darkest Nights ; and when she was 
retired to put on a clean Smock in 
Phoebus his Apartment; if they had 
been so curious, as to have encouraged 
the Exposers. 

However, Reader, you have now a 
second View of her, and that under the 
same Cover with the Sun too, which is 
very rare ; since these two were never 
seen before in Conjunction. Yet I 
would have none be afraid, that their 
Eyes being dazled with the glorious 

Translator to Reader 3 

Light of the Sun, they should not see 
her; for Fancy will supply the Weak- 
ness of the Organ, and Imagination, by 
the help of this Mirrour, will not fail to 
discover them both; though Cynthia 
lye hid under Apollo's shining Mantle. 
And so much for the Luminaries. 

Now as to the Worlds, which, with 
Analogy to ours below, I may call the 
Old and New ; that of the Moon having 
been discovered, tho imperfectly, by 
others, but the Sun owing its Discov- 
ery wholly to our Author : ^ I make no 

1 Among the "others" who had previously 
" discovered " the Moon, Ariosto is the most promi- 
nent. In his Orlando Furioso^ Astolfo goes to the 
moon, visits the *' Valley of Lost Things," finds 
there many broken resolutions, idlers' days, lovers' 
tears, and other such matters ; and finally recovers 
Orlando's lost wits, which he brings back to the 

The Satire Menippee (1594) gives, in its Supple- 
ment^ "News from the Regions of the Moon." 

Quevedo, the Spanish satirist and novelist .'(1580- 
1645), with whose works Cyrano was acquainted, 
also gives an account of the moon in -his Sixth 

In England, the Rev. John W^ilkins (1614-1672), 
once Principal of Trinity College, Cambridge, and 
later Bishop of Chester, a brother-in-law of Crom- 

4 A Voyage to the Moon 

doubt, but the Ingenious Reader will 

find in both, so extraordinary and 

surprizing Rarides, as well Natural, 

Moral, as Civil; that if he be not as 

yet sufficiently disgusted with this 

lower World, (which I am sure some 

are) to think of making a Voyage 

well, and one of the founders of the Royal Society, 
published in 1638 the '^ Discoveiy of a New World; 
or, a Discourse to prove it is probable there may 
be another habitable world in the Moon ; with a 
discourse concerning the possibility of a passage 
thither'''' \ and later, in 1640, the ^^ Discotirse con- 
ceming a new Planet ; tending to prove it is prob- 
able our earth is one of the Planets." These two 
works are said to have done more than any others 
to popularize the Copemican system in England. 
The Discovery of a New World was translated 
into French by Jean de Montague, and published 
at Rouen in 1655 or 1656. See Charles Nodier, 
Melanges extraits d\ine petite bibliotheque. 

Finally, the most important of Cyrano's prede- 
cessors in the discovery of the moon was Francis 
Godwin, M.A., D.D., Bishop of Llandaff and later 
of Hereford (1562-1633). It was not till 1638, after 
the worthy Bishop's death, and in the same year 
that Rev. (later Bishop) John Wilkins' Discove7y of 
a New World was published, that there appeared 
his " Man in the Moone ; or a Discourse of a Voy- 
age Thither, by Domingo Gonsales, the Speedy 
Messenger." This was translated into French by 
Jean Baudoin or Baudouin in 1648, as *'L'homme 

Translator to Reader 5 

thither, as our Author has done; he 
will at least be pleased with his Rela- 
tions. Nevertheless, since this Age 
produces a great many bold Wits, that 
shoot even beyond the Moon, and can- 
not endure, (no more than our Author) 
to be stinted by Magisterial Authority, 
and to believe nothing but what Gray- 
headed Antiquity gives them leave : It's 
pity some soaring Virtuoso, instead of 
Travelling into France, does not take a 
flight up to the Sun ; and by new Ob- 
servations supply the defects of its His- 
tory ; occasioned not by the Negligence 
of our Witty French Author, but by 
the accursed Plagiary of some rude 
Hand, that in his Sickness, rifted his 
Trunks, and stole his Papers, as he 
himself complains. ^ 

dans la lune . . . voyage . . . fait par Dominique 
Gonzales, aventurier espagnol," and was well 
known to Cyrano, as we shall see. 

In saying that " the sun owes its discovery wholly 
to our author," the translator appears to' be igno- 
rant of a work which Cyrano certainly knew : the Ci- 
vitas solis of Campanella, published in 1623 as a part 
of his Realis P hilosophice EpilogisticcB Partes IV, 

1 Cf. the last sentence of the Voyag£ to the Moon^ 

6 A Voyage to the Moon 

Let some venturous Undertaker 
auspiciously attempt it then; and if 
neither of the two Universities, Gres- 
ham-CoUedge, nor Greenwich-Observa- 
tory can furnish him with an Instru- 
ment of Conveyance; let him try his 
own Invention, or make use of our Au- 
thor's Machine: For our Loss is, in- 
deed, so great, that one would think, 
none but the declared Enemy of Man- 
kind, would have had the Malice, to 
purloyn and stiffle those rare Discover- 
ies, which our Author made in the 
Province of the Solar Philosophers; 
and which undoubtedly would have 
gone far, as to the settleing our Sub- 
lunary Philosophy, which, as well as 
Religion, is lamentably rent by Sects 
and Whimseys; and have convinced 
us, perhaps, that in our present Doubts 
and Perplexities, a little more, or a 
little less of either, would better serve 
our Turns, and more content our 

THE 7 








Written in Fre^ich by 

And now Englished by 


Printed for Henry Rhodes, next door to the Swan- 
Tavern^ near Bride- Lane in Fleet- Street^ 1687. 

[The Title-page of Lovell's Translation.] 











Of how the Voyage was Conceived, 

I Had been with some Friends at 
Clamard, a House near Paris, and 
magnificently Entertain 'd there by- 
Monsieur de Ctiigy/ the Lord of it; 

1 Monsieur de Cuigy, who is mentioned by Lebret 
as a friend and admirer of Cyrano, and who was 

lo A Voyage to the Moon 

when upon our return home, about 
Nine of the Clock at Night, the Air 
serene, and the Moon in the Full, the 
Contemplation of that bright Lumi- 
nary furnished us with such variety 
of Thoughts as made the way seem 
shorter than, indeed, it was. Our 
Eyes being fixed upon that stately 
Planet, every one spoke what he thought 
of it: One would needs have it be a 
Garret Window of Heaven; another 
presently affirmed, That it was the Pan 
whereupon Diana smoothed Apollo's 
Bands ; whilst another was of Opinion, 
That it might very well be the Sun 
himself, who putting his Locks up 
under his Cap at Night, peeped through 
a hole to observe what was doing in 
the World during his absence. 

"And for my part, Gentlemen," said 
I, " that I may put in for a share, and 
guess with the rest ; not to amuse my 

one of the witnesses of his famous battle against 
the hundred ruffians, possessed an estate at 
Clamart-sous-Meudon, near Paris. He appears as 
a character in M. Rostand's play of Cyrano de 

How Voyage was Conceived 1 1 

self with those curious Notions where- 
with you tickle and spur on slow-paced 
Time; I believe, that the Moon is a 
World like ours, to which this of ours 
serves likewise for a Moon," 

This was received with the general 
Laughter of the Company. " And per- 
haps," said I, " (Gentlemen) just so they 
laugh now in the Moon, at some who 
maintain. That this Globe, where we 
are, is a World." But I'd as good have 
said nothing, as have alledged to them, 
That a great many Learned Men had 
been of the same Opinion; for that 
only made them laugh the faster. 

However, this thought, which be- 
cause of its boldness suted my Humor, 
being confirmed by Contradiction, sunk 
so deep into my mind, that during 
the rest of the way I was big with 
Definitions of the Moon which I could 
not be delivered of : Insomuch that by 
striving to verifie this Comical- Fancy 
by Reasons of appearing weight, I had 
almost perswaded my self already of 
the truth on't; when a Miracle, Ac- 

I 2 A Voyage to the Moon 

cident, Providence, Fortune, or what, 
perhaps, some may call Vision, others 
Fiction, Whimsey, or (if you will) 
Folly, furnished me with an occasion 
that engaged me into this Discourse. 
Being come home, I went up into my 
Closet, where I found a Book open upon 
the Table, which I had not put there. 
It was a piece of Cardamis \- and though 
I had no design to read in it, yet I fell 
at first sight, as by force, exactly upon 
a Passage of that Philosopher where 
he tells us. That Studying one evening 
by Candle-light, he perceived Two tall 
old Men enter in through the door that 
was shut, who after many questions that 
he. put to them, made him answer, That 
they were Inhabitants of the Moon, and 
thereupon immediately disappeared. 

1 Jerome Cardan, 1501-1576, natural philosopher, 
doctor, astrologer, mathematician, and a volumi- 
nous author; in short, a sort of Italian Paracelsus, 
both by his universal learning, and by his intense 
interest in all domains of possible knowledge, in 
which he included astrology and necromancy. 
His most important work is the one referred to 
here, the Z>e Subtilitate Rerum^ iSS^- 

Cyrano in his Study. 

'~F7'07n a j-jth Century Engraving 

How Voyage was Conceived i 3 

I was so surprised, not only to see a 
Book get thither of it self; but also be- 
cause of the nicking of the Time so 
patly, and of the Page at which it lay 
upon, that I looked upon that Concate- 
nation of Accidents as a Revelation, 
discovering to Mortals that the Moon 
is a World» " How ! " said I to my self, 
having just now talked of a thing, can 
a Book, which perhaps is the only 
Book in the World that treats of that 
matter so particularly, fly down from 
the Shelf upon my Table; become 
capable of Reason, in opening so ex- 
actly at the place of so strange an ad- 
venture ; force my Eyes in a manner to 
look upon it, and then to suggest to my 
fancy the Reflexions, and to my Will 
the Designs which I hatch. 

'' Without doubt," continued I, ''the 
Two old Men, who appeared to that 
famous Philosopher, are the very same 
who have taken down my Book and 
opened it at that Page, to save them- 
selves the labour of making to me the 
Harangue which they made to Cardan. 

14 A Voyage to the Moon 

But," added I, " I cannot be resolved of 
this Doubt, unless I mount up thither." 
'' And why not?" said I instantly to 
my self. " Prometheits heretofore went 
up to Heaven, and stole fire from 
thence. Have not I as much Boldness 
as he? And why should not I, then, 
expect as favourable a Success? " 


Of how the Author set out^ and where 
he first arrived. 

After these sudden starts of Imag- 
ination, which may be termed, perhaps, 
the Ravings of a violent Feaver, I be- 
gan to conceive some hopes of succeed- 
ing in so fair a Voyage : Insomuch that 
to take my measures aright, I shut my 
self up in a solitary Country-house; 
where having flattered my fancy with 
some means, proportionated to my de- 
sign, at length I set out for Heaven in 
this manner. 

I planted my self in the middle of a 
great many Glasses full of Dew, tied 
fast about me ; * upon which the Sun so 
violently darted his Rays, that the 
Heat, which attracted them, as it does 

1 Cf, M. Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, act III., 
scene xi.: "One wav was to stand naked in the 

1 6 A Voyage to the Moon 

the thickest Clouds, carried me up so 
high, that at length I found my self 
above the middle Region of the Air. 
But seeing that Attraction hurried me 
up with so much rapidity that instead 
of drawing near the Moon, as I in- 
tended, she seem'd to me to be more 
distant than at my first setting out ; I 
broke several of my Vials, until I found 
my weight exceed the force of the At- 
traction, and that I began to descend 
again towards the Earth. I was not 
mistaken in my opinion, for some time 
after I fell to the ground again ; and to 
reckon from the hour that I set out at, 
it must then have been about midnight. 
Nevertheless I found the Sun to be in 
the Meridian, and that it was Noon. I 
leave it to you to judge, in what Amaze- 
ment I was; The truth is, I was so 
strangely surprised, that not knowing 
what to think of that Miracle, I had the 

sunshine, in a harness thickly studded with glass 
phials, each filled with morning dew. The sun in 
drawing up the dew, you see, could not have helped 
drawing me up too ! ' ' (Miss Gertrude Hall's trans- 

How the Author Set Out 17 

insolence to imagine that in favour of 
my Boldness God had once more nailed 
the Sun to the Firmament, to light so 
generous ^ an Enterprise. That which 
encreased my Astonishment was, That 
I knew not the Country where I was ; 
it seemed to me, that having mount- 
ed straight up, I should have fallen 
down again in the same place I parted 

However, in the Equipage I was in, I 
directed my course towards a kind of 
Cottage, where I perceived some smoke ; 
and I was not above a Pistol-shot from 
it, when 1 saw my self environed by a 
great number of People, stark naked: 
They seemed to be exceedingly sur- 
prised at the sight of me ; for I was the 
first, (as I think) that they had ever 
seen clad in Bottles. Nay, and to baffle 
all the Interpretations that they could 
put upon that Equipage, they perceived 
that I hardly touched the ground as I 

^ Generous = noble. Cf. Lord Burleigh, Precepts 
to his Son : " Let her not be poor, how generous 
soever; for a man can buy nothing in the market 

with gentility.'' 

1 8 A Voyage to the Moon 

walked; for, indeed, they understood 
not that upon the least agitation I gave 
my Body the Heat of the beams of the 
Noon-Sun raised me up with my Dew; 
and that if I had had Vials enough 
about me, it would possibly have car- 
ried me up into the Air in their view. 
I had a mind to have spoken to them ; 
but as if Fear had changed them into 
Birds, immediately I lost sight of them 
in. an adjoyning Forest. However, I 
catched hold of one, whose Legs had, 
without doubt, betrayed his Heart. I 
asked him, but with a great deal of pain, 
(for I was quite choked) how far they 
reckoned from thence to Paris ? How 
long Men had gone naked in France ? 
and why they fled from me in so great 
Consternation? The Man I spoke to 
was an old tawny Fellow, who presently 
fell at my Feet, and with lifted-up 
Hands joyned behind his Head, opened 
his Mouth and shut his Eyes: He 
mumbled a long while between his 
Teeth, but I could not distinguish an 
articulate Word; so that I took his 

How the Author Set Out 19 

Language for the maffling ^ noise of a 

Some time after, I saw a Company of 
Souldiers marching, with Drums beat- 
ing; and I perceived Two detached 
from the rest, to come and take speech 
of me. When they were come within 
hearing, I asked them, "Where I was? 
*' You are in France^'' answered they: 
*' But what Devil hath put you into 
that Dress? And how comes it that 
we know you not? Is the Fleet then 
arrived? Are 3-ou going to carry the 
News of it to the Governor? And why 
have you divided your Brandy into so 
many Bottles?" To all this I made 
answer. That the Devil had not put me 
into that Dress: That they knew me 
not ; because they could not know all 
Men: That I knew nothing of the 
Seine's carrying Ships to Paris : That I 
had no news for the Ivlarslial de V Hos- 
pital ; ^ and that I was not loaded with 

^ Stammering, mumbling; a North of England 

2 Paul Lacroix, the editor of the French edition 
of Cyrano's works, not understanding this phrase, 

20 A Voyage to the Moon 

Brandy. ''Ho, ho," said they to me, 
taking me by the Arm, " you are a merry 
Fellow indeed; come, the Governor 
will make a shift to know you, no doubt 

They led me to their Company, where 
I learnt that I was in reality in France^ 
but that it was in New-France : So 
that some time after, I was presented 
before the Governor, who asked me my 
Country, my Name and Quality; and 
after that I had satisfied him in all 
Points, and told him the pleasant Suc- 
cess of my Voyage, whether he believed 
it, or only pretended to do so, he had 
the goodness to order me a Chamber in 
his Apartment. I was very happy, in 

has ingeniously invented the interpretation of 
*' quarantine officer" for it. Not only have the 
words never had this meaning, but they are evi- 
dently a proper name. And in fact Francois de 
r Hospital^ Marechal de F?'a7ice^ was Governor of 
Paris in 1649, the year when the Voyage to the Moon 
was probably written. Cyrano, thinking he has 
fallen in France, near Paris, and being asked if he 
carries news of the fleet to the Governor, naturally 
answers that he knows nothing of ships going to 
Paris, and that he carries no news to the Marechal 
de r Hospital. 

How the Author Set Out 21 

meeting with a Man capable of lofty 
Opinions, and who was not at all sur- 
prised when I told him that the Earth 
must needs have turned during my 
Elevation ; seeing that having begun to 
mount about Two Leagues from Paris^ 
I was fallen, as it were, by a perpen- 
dicular Line in Canada, 


Of his Conversation zvith the Vice-Roy 
of New France; a7id of the system of 
this Universe. 

When I was going to Bed at night, he 
came into my Chamber, and spoke to 
me to this purpose : '' I should not have 
come to disturb your Rest, had I not 
thought that one who hath found out 
the secret of Travelling so far in 
Twelve hours space, had likewise a 
charm against Lassitude. But you 
know not," added he, ''what a pleasant 
Quarrel I have just now had with our 
Fathers, upon your account? They'll 
have you absolutely to be a Magician ; 
and the greatest favour you can expect 
from them, is to be reckoned only an 
Impostor: The truth is, that Motion 
which you attribute to the Earth ^ is a 

^ In connection with this discussion it is to be 
remembered that nearly two centuries were re- 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 23 

pretty nice Paradox ; and for my part 
I'll frankly tell you, That that which 
hinders me from being of yonr Opin- 
ion, is, That though you parted yester- 
day from Paris^ yet you might have ar- 
rived today in this Country without 
the Earth's turning: For the Sun hav- 
ing drawn you up by the means of 
your Bottles, ought he not to have 
brought you hither; since according 
to Ptolemy^ and the Modern Phil- 
osophers,' he marches obliquely, as 
you make the Earth to move? And 
besides, what great Probability have 
you to imagine, that the Sun is im- 
moveable, when we see it go? And 

quired for the Copemican system, promulgated in 
1543, in the De orbitun cQ:lestiu7n 7'evohctionibus, to 
become generally popularized; and that in 1633, 
only sixteen years before the Voyage to the M0071 
was written, Galileo had been compelled by the 
Inquisition to deny the motion of the earth. 

1 According to the Ptolemaic system, still gener- 
ally accepted by "modern Philosophers" at the 
time of Cyrano's writing, the fixed stars, the sun, 
the moon, and each of the five (then known) 
planets, revolved about the earth in different 
orbits, according to various "epicycles" and"ex- 

24 A Voyage to the Moon 

what appearance is there, that the 
Earth turns with so great Rapid- 
ity, when we feel it firm under our 

"Sir," replied I to him, ''These are, 
in a manner, the Reasons that oblige 
us to think so : In the first place, it is 
consonant to common Sense to think 
that the Sun is placed in the Center 
of the Universe; seeing all Bodies in 
nature standing in need of that radical 
Heat, it is fit' he should reside in the 
heart of the Kingdom, that he may be 
in a condition readily to supply the 
Necessities of every Part ; and that the 
Cause of Generations should be placed 
in the middle of all Bodies, that it 
may act there with greater Equality 
and Ease : After the same manner as 
Wise Nature hath placed the Seeds in 
the Center of Apples, the Kernels in 
the middle of their Fruits ; and in the 
same manner as the Onion, under the 
cover of so many Coats that encompass 
it, preserves that precious Bud from 
which Millions of others are to have 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 25 

their being. For an Apple is in it self a 
little Universe; the Seed, hotter than 
the other parts thereof, is its Sun, 
which diffuses about it self that natural 
Heat which preserves its Globe : And 
in the Onion, the Germ is the little 
Sun of that little World, which vivifies 
and nourishes the vegetative Salt of 
that little mass. Having laid down 
this, then, for a ground, I say, That 
the Earth standing in need of the Light, 
Heat, and Influence of this great Fire, 
it turns round it, that it may receive in 
all parts alike that Virtue which keeps 
it in Being. For it would be as ridicu- 
lous to think, that that vast luminous 
Body turned about a point that it has 
not the least need of; as to imagine, 
that when we see a roasted Lark, that 
the Kitchin-fire must have turned round 
it. Else, were it the part of the Sun to 
do that drudgery, it would seem that 
the Physician stood in need of the Pa- 
tient ; that the Strong should yield to 
the Weak ; the Superior serve the In- 
ferior; and that the Ship did not sail 

26 A Voyage to the Moon 

about the Land, but the Land about 
the Ship. 

" Now if you cannot easily conceive 
how so ponderous a Body can move; 
Pray, tell me, are the Stars and Heav- 
ens, which, in your Opinion, are so 
solid, any way lighter? Besides, it is 
not so difficult for us, who are assured 
of the Roundness of the Earth, to infer 
its motion from its Figure : But why do 
ye- suppose the Heaven to be round, 
seeing you cannot know it, and that 
yet, if it hath not this Figure, it is 
impossible it can move? I object not 
to you your Excentricks nor Epicycles ^^ 
which you cannot explain but very con- 
fusedly, and which are out of doors in 
my Systeme. Let's reflect only on the 
natural Causes of that Motion. To 
make good your Hypothesis, you are 
forced to have recourse to Spirits or 
Intelligences^ that move and govern your 

1 The motion of the moon, for instance, was ex- 
plained in the Ptolemaic system as an epicycle car- 
ried by an excentric; the centre of the excentric 
moving about the earth in a direction opposite to 
that of the epicycle. 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 27 

Spheres. But for my part, without dis- 
turbing the repose of the supreme 
Being, who, without doubt, hath made 
Nature entirely perfect, and whose 
Wisdom ought so to have compleated 
her, that being perfect in one thing, she 
should not have been defective in an- 
other : I say, that the Beams and Influ- 
ences of the Sun, darting Circularly 
upon the Earth, make it to turn as 
with a turn of the Hand we make a 
Globe to move ; or, which is much the 
same, that the Steams which continu- 
ally evaporate from that side of it 
which the Sun shines upon, being 
reverberated by the Cold of the middle 
Region, rebound upon it, and striking 
obliquely do of necessity make it whirle 
about in that manner. 

"The Explication of the other Mo- 
tions^ is less perplexed still; for pray, 
consider a little — " At these words 
the Vice-Roy interrupted me : ^' I had 

^ The French has: '* of the two other motions": 
i.e,^ the movement of the fixed stars, and that of 
the planets. 

2 8 A Voyage to the Moon 

rather," said he, "yoii would excuse 
your self from that trouble ; for I have 
read some Books of Gassendus ^ on that 
subject: And hear what one of our 
Fathers, who maintained your Opinion 
one day, answered me. 'Really,' said 
he, 'I fancy that the Earth does move, 
not for the Reasons alledged by Coper- 

^ Gassendus or Gassendi^diS Cyrano's own teacher 
of Philosophy. Of Provengal origin, and at first 
Professor in the University of Aix, he came to 
Paris in 1641, and gave both private lessons and 
public courses as Professor of the College Royal. 
It was in one of his private classes that Cyrano 
was a fellows-student with Chapelle, Hesnaut, 
Bernier, and almost certainly Moliere ; the most 
important group of young "libertms" (/.^., free- 
thinkers) of the epoch. 

Gassendi was a bitter opponent of the sup- 
posedly Aristotelian school-philosophy of the time ; 
and was on the whole the leader of those who 
in the seventeenth century followed Epicurean 
methods in thought. He is the author of a life 
of Epicurus, and an exposition of his philosophy. 
He was also an opponent of Descartes, being the 
most important contemporary supporter of em- 
piricism as against the essentially idealistic method 
of Descartes. 

He is important also as a popularizer of the 
Copernican system, by his Life of Copernicus, and 
his Institutio Astronoinica (1647), 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 29 

nicits ; but because Hell-fire being shut 
up in the Center of the Earth, the 
damned, who make a gi'eat bustle to 
avoid its Flames, scrarnble up to the 
Vault, as far as they can from them, and 
so make the Earth to turn, as a Turn- 
spit * makes the Wheel go round when 
he runs about in it. ' '' 

We applauded that Thought, as being 
a pure effect of the Zeal of that good 
Father: And then the Vice-Roy told 
me, That he much wondered, how the 
Systeme of Ptolemy^ being so improba- 
ble, should have been so universally 
received. "Sir," said I to him, "most 
part of Men, who judge of all things by 
the Senses, have suffered themselves to 
be perswaded by their Eyes ; and as he 
who Sails along a Shoar thinks the 
Ship immoveable, and the Land in mo- 
tion; even so Men turning with the 
Earth round the Sun have thought that 
it was the Sun that moved about' them. 

^ A dog trained to turn a spit, by running about 
in a rotary cage attached to it. The French has 
simply: "as a dog makes a wheel turn, when he 
runs about in it." 

30 A Voyage to the Moon 

To this may be added the tinsupporta- 
ble Pride of Mankind, who perswade 
themselves that Nature hath only been 
made for them ; as if it were likely that 
the Sun, a vast Body Four hundred and 
thirty four times bigger than the Earth, ' 
had only been kindled to ripen their 
Medlars and plumpen their Cabbage. 

*' For my part, I am so far from com- 
plying with their Insolence, that I be- 
lieve the Planets are Worlds about the 
Sun, and that the fixed Stars are also 
Suns which have Planets about them, 
that's to say, Worlds, which because of 
their smallness, and that their borrowed 
light cannot reach us, are not discern- 
able by Men in this World : For in good 
earnest, how can it be imagined that 
such spacious Globes are no more but 
vast Desarts ; and that ours, because we 
live in it, hath been framed for the habi- 
tation of a dozen of proud Dandyprats? 

1 Cyrano had probably learned this from his 
master Gassendi. Cf, his "Epistola XX. de ap- 
parente magnitudine solis," 1641. Modem Gas- 
sen dis say the sun is 1.300,000 times greater than 
the earth in volume, 316,000 times in mass. 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 3 i 

How, must it be said, because the Sun 
measures our Days and Years, that it 
hath only been made to keep us from 
running our Heads against the Walls? 
No, no, if that visible Deity shine upon 
Man, it's by accident, as the King's 
Flamboy by accident lightens a Porter 
that walks along the Street: " 

**But," said he to me, "[if,] as you 
affirm, the fixed Stars be so many Suns, 
it will follow that the World is infinite ; 
seeing it is probable that the People of 
that World which moves about that 
fixed Star you take for a Sun, discover 
above themselves other fixed Stars, 
which we cannot perceive from hence, 
and so others in that manner in infi- 

*' Never question," replied I, *'but as 
God could create the Soul Immortal, He 
could also make the World Infinite ; if 
so it be, that Eternity is nothing else 
but an illimited Duration, and an infi- 
nite^ a boundless Extension : And then 
God himself would be Finite, supposing 
the World not to be infinite ; seeing he 

32 A Voyage to the Moon 

cannot be where nothing is, and that he 
could not encrease the greatness of the 
World without adding somewhat to his 
own Being, by beginning to exist 
where he did not exist before. We 
mnst believe then, that as from hence 
we see Saturn and Jiipiter ; if we were 
in either of the Two, we should dis- 
cover a great many Worlds which we 
perceive not; and that the Universe 
extends so in infinitum.'' 

" I' faith," replied he, *'when you have 
said all you can, I cannot at all compre- 
hend that Infinitude. " ■'' Good now, " re- 
plied I to him, '^ do you comprehend the 
Nothing that is beyond it? Not at all. 
For when you think of that Nothings 
you imagine it at least to be like Wind 
or Air, and that is a Being : But if you 
conceive not an Infinite in general, you 
comprehend it at least in particulars; 
seeing it is not difficult to fancy to our 
selves, beyond the Earth, Air, and Fire 
which we see, other Air, and other 
Earth, and other Fire. Now Infinitude 
is nothing else but a boundless Series 

Conversation with Vice-Roy 33 

of all these. But if you ask me, How 
these Worlds have been made, seeing 
Holy Scripture speaks only of one that 
God made? My answer is, That I have 
no more to say: For to oblige me to 
give a Reason for every thing that 
comes into my Imagination, is to stop 
my Mouth, and make me confess that 
in things of that nature my Reason 
shall always stoop to Faith." 

He ingeniously^ acknowledged to 
me that his Question was to be censured, 
but bid me pursue my notion : So that 
I went on, and told him, That all the 
other Worlds, which are not seen, or but 
imperfectly believed, are no more but 
the Scum that purees out of the Suns. 
For how could these great Fires subsist 
without some matter, that served them 
for Fewel? Now as the Fire drives 
from it the Ashes that would stifle it, or 
the Gold in a Crucible separates from 
the Marcasite ^ and Dross, and is refined 

^ Ingenuously. The two words were interchange- 
able in the seventeenth century. 
^ Iron pyrites. 

34 A Voyage to the Moon 

to the highest Standard; nay, and as 
our Stomack discharges it self by vomit, 
of the Crudities that oppress it ; even 
so these Suns daily evacuate, and reject 
the Remains of matter that might in- 
commode their Fire: But when they 
have wholly consumed that matter 
which entertains ^ them ; you are not to 
doubt, but they spread themselves 
abroad on all sides to seek for fresh 
Fewel, and fasten upon the Worlds 
which heretofore they have made, and 
particularly upon those that are near- 
est: Then these great Fires, reconcoct- 
ing all the Bodies, will as formerly 
force them out again. Pell-mell^ from all 
parts ; and being by little and little pu- 
rified, they'll begin to serve for Suns 
to other little Worlds, which they pro- 
create by driving them out of their 
Spheres: And that without doubt, 
made the Pythagoreans foretel the uni- 
versal Conflagration. 

1 Supports ^ feeds; cf. Shakspere, Richard III, 

" I'll be at charges for a looking-glass, 
And entertain a score or two of tailors.'* 

Conversation with Vice-Rov 35 

" This is no ridiciilons Imagination, 
for New-France where we are, gives us 
a very convincing instance of it. The 
vast Continent of America is one half 
of the Earth, which in spight of our 
Predecessors, who a Thousand times 
had cruised the Ocean, was not at that 
time discovered: Nor, indeed, was it 
then in being, no more than a great 
many Islands, Peninsules, and Moun- 
tains that have since started up in our 
Globe, when the Sun purged out its 
Excrements to a convenient distance, 
and of a sufficient Gravity to be at- 
tracted by the Center of our World; 
either in small Particles, perhaps, or, 
it may be also, altogether in one lump. 
That is not so unreasonable but that St. 
Austin'^ would have applauded to it, if 
that Country had been discovered in his 
Age. Seeing that great Man, who had 
a very clear Wit, assures us. That in his 
time the Earth was flat like the floor 
of an Oven, and that it floated upon the 
Water, like the half of an Orange : But 

1 St. Augustine. 

36 A Voyage to the Moon 

if ever I have the honour to see you in 
France^ I'll make you observe, by means 
of a most excellent Celescope, that 
some Obscurities, which from hence 
appear to be Spots, are Worlds a form- 

My Eyes that shut with this Dis- 
course, obliged the Vice-Roy to with- 


Of how at last he set out again for the 
Moon^ tho without his own Will. 

Next Day, and the Days follow- 
ing, we had some Discourses to the 
same purpose: But some time after, 
since the hurry of Affairs suspended 
our Philosophy, I fell afresh upon the 
design of mounting up to the Moon. 

So soon as she was up, I walked 
about musing in the Woods, how I 
might manage and succeed in my En- 
terprise; and at length on St. John's-'^ 
Eve, when they were at Council in the 
Port, whether they should assist the 
Wild Natives of the Country against the 
Iroqueans ; I went all alone to the top 
of a little Hill at the back of our Habi- 
tation, where I put in Practice what you 

1 The Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24. 

38 A Voyage to the Moon 

shall hear. I had made a Machine 
which I fancied might carry me up as 
high as I pleased, so that nothing seem- 
ing to be wanting to it, I placed my 
self within, and from the Top of a 
Rock threw my self in the Air: But 
because I had not taken my measures 
aright, I fell with a sosh in the Valley 

Bruised as I was, however, I re- 
turned to my Chamber without loos- 
ing courage, and with Beef-Marrow I 
anointed my Body, for I was all over 
mortified from Head to Foot: Then 
having taken a dram of Cordial Waters 
to strengthen my Heart, I went back to 
look for my Machine ; but I could not 
find it, for some Soldiers, that had been 
sent into the Forest to cut wood for a 
Bonefire, meeting with it by chance, 
had carried it with them to the Fort : 
Where after a great deal of guessing 
what it might be, when they had dis- 
covered the invention of the Spring, 
some said, that a good many Fire- 
Works should be fastened to it, because 

Out Again for the Moon 39 

their Force carrying them up on high, 
and the Machine playing its large 
Wings, no Body but would take it for a 
Fiery Dragon. In the mean time I was 
long in search of it, but found it at 
length in the Market-place of Kebeck 
(Quebec), just as they were setting 
Fire to it. I was so transported with 
Grief, to find the Work of my Hands 
in so great Peril, that I ran to the 
Souldier that was giving Fire to it, 
caught hold of his Arm, pluckt the 
Match out of his Hand, and in great 
rage threw my self into my Machine, 
that I might undo the Fire-Works that 
they had stuck about it; but I came 
too late, for hardly were both my Feet 
within, when whip, away went I up in a 

The Horror and Consternation I was 
in did not so confound the faculties 
of my Soul, but I have since remem- 
bered all that happened to me . at that 
instant. For so soon as the Flame had 
devoured one tier of Squibs, which 
were ranked by six and six, by means of 

40 A Voyage to the Moon 

a Train that reached every half-dozen, 
another tier went off, and then anoth- 
er ; ^ so that the Salt-Peter taking Fire, 
put off the danger by encreasing it. 
However, all the combustible matter 
being spent, there was a period put to 
the Fire-work; and whilst I thought of 
nothing less than to knock my Head 
against the top of some Mountain, I 
felt, without the least stirring, my ele- 
vation continuing; and adieu Machine, 
for I saw it fall down again towards the 

That extraordinary Adventure puffed 
up my Heart with so uncommon a 
Gladness; that, ravished to see my 
self delivered from certain danger, I 
had the impudence to philosophize upon 
it. Whilst then with Eyes and Thought 
I cast about to find what might be the 
cause of it, I perceived my flesh blown 

1 Cf, the play of Cyrano de Berge7'ac^ act III., 
scene xi. : "Or else, mechanic as well as artificer, 
I could have fashioned a giant grasshopper, with 
steel joints, which, impelled by successive explo- 
sions of saltpetre, would have hopped with me to 
the azure meadows where graze the starry flocks." 

Cyrano en route for the Moon. 

—From a i-jth Century Engraving^, 

Out Again for the Moon 41 

up, and still greasy with the Marrow, 
that I had daubed my self over with 
for the Bruises of my fall : I knew that 
the Moon being then in the Wain, and 
that it being usual for her in that Quar- 
ter to suck up the Marrow of Animals, 
she drank up that wherewith I was 
anointed, with so much the more force 
that her Globe was nearer to me, and 
that no interposition of Clouds weak- 
ened her Attraction/ 

When I had, according to the compu- 
tation I made since, advanced a good 
deal more than three quarters of the 
space that divided the Earth from the 
Moon ; all of a sudden I fell with my 
Heels up and Head down, though I 
had made no Trip ; and indeed, I had 
not been sensible of it, had not I felt 
my Head loaded under the weight of 
my Body : The truth is, I knew very 
well that I was not falling again tow- 

1 C/., in the play, tke fifth of Cyrano's means for 
scaling the sky: "Since Phoebe, the moon-god- 
dess, when she is at wane, is greedy, O beeves! 
of your marrow, . . . with that marrow have be- 
smeared myself ! ' ' 

42 A Voyage to the Moon 

ards our World ; for though I found my 
self to be betwixt two Moons, and eas- 
ily observed, that the nearer I drew to 
the one, the farther I removed from the 
other ; yet I was certain, that ours was 
the bigger Globe of the two : Because 
after one or two days Journey, the re- 
mote Refractions of the Sun, confound- 
ing the diversity of Bodies and Cli- 
raates, it appeared to me only as a large 
Plate of Gold : That made me imagine, 
that I byassed ^ towards the Moon ; and 
I was confirmed in that Opinion, w^hen 
I began to call to mind, that I did not 
fall till I w^as past three quarters of the 
way. For, said I to my self, that Mass 
being less than ours, the Sphere of its 
Activity must be of less Extent also ; 
and by consequence, it w^as later before 
I felt the force of its Center. 

^ The translator has apparently misread biaisais 
where the French editions have baissais : i.e.^ I 
was descending toward the moon. 


Of his Arrival there ^ and of the Beauty 
of that Country in zuhich he fell. 

In fine, after I had been a very long 
while in falling, as I judged, for the 
violence of my Precipitation hindered 
me from observing it more exactly: 
The last thing I can remember is, that 
I found my self under a Tree, entangled 
with three or four pretty large Branch- 
es which I had broken off by my fall ; 
and ray face besmeared with an Apple, 
that had dashed against it. 

By good luck that place was, as you 
shall know by and by ****** ^ So 

1 "That place was," unquestionably, the Garden 
of Eden, which Cyrano heretically locates in the 
Moon; and the "Tree" turough which he has 
fallen, and an "Apple" of which has besmeared 
his face and recalled him to life, is the Tree of 
Life, that stood "in the midst of the garden." 

This is the first of a series of hiatuses, which 
occur in all the French editions as well as the Eng- 

44 A Voyage to the Moon 

that you may very well conclude, that 

had it not been for that Chance, if I had 

lish, and which are marked by those stars that 
Cyrano refers to in the play: "But I intend set- 
ting all this down in a book, and the golden stars 
I have brought back caught in my shaggy mantle, 
when the book is printed, will be seen serving as 

Lebret speaks of these gaps in his preface, say- 
ing he would have tried to fill them but for fear of 
mixing his style with Cyrano's: "For the melan- 
choly colour of my style will not let me imitate the 
gayety of his; nor can my Wit follow the fine 
flights of his Imagination." 

It seems altogether improbable, however, that 
Cyrano himself left the work thus incomplete, as 
Lebret would imply. And in fact we can supply 
from a Manuscript recently acquired (1890) by the 
Bibliotheque Nationale^ a long passage not printed 
by Lebret (see pp. 60 ff.). There can be little doubt 
that the passages were deliberately cut out by some 
one on account of their " heretical " character. It 
even seems probable, from passages at the begin- 
ning of the Voyage to the Sun^ that when the work 
was circulated in Manuscript, Cyrano had been the 
object of persecution on account of them. 

The passages lacking were cut out then — but by 
whom? The usually accepted opinion is that of 
our English translator, who says the gaps are 
"occasioned, not by the Negligence of our Witty 
French Author, but by the accursed Plagiary of 
some rude Hand, that in his sickness rifted his 
Trunks and stole his Papers, as he himself com- 
plains." M. Brun has suggested, however, and 

Of his Arrival There 45 

had a thousand lives, they had been all 
lost. I have many times since reflected 
upon the vulgar Opinion, That if one 
precipitate himself from a very high 
place, his breath is ont before he reach 
the ground ; and from my adventure I 
conclude it to be false, or else that the 
efficacious Jnyce of that Fruit, ^ which 
squirted into my mouth, must needs 
have recalled my soul, that was not far 
from my Carcass, which was still hot 
and in a disposition of exerting the 
Functions of Life. The truth is, so 

with some plausibility, that Lebret himself was 
responsible for the omissions; and that he thus 
continued, after Cyrano's death, his lifelong at- 
tempts at reforming and toning down the impolitic, 
unorthodox notions of his too-independent friend. 
So Cyrano was conquered once more in his battle 
with "les Compromis, les Prejugeis, les Lachetes," 
and finally "la Sottise " : 

" Je sais bien qu' a la fin vous me mettrez a bas; 
N'importe! je me bats, je me bats, je me bats!" 

We are proud of printing for the first time in any 
edition of the Voyage to the Moon^ at least a part of 
what had been cut out ; and of being able to indi- 
cate for the first time what must have been the 
substance of the other lost passages, and what is 
the sense of the fragments preserved. 

^ The Apple of the Tree of Life, 

46 A Voyage to the Moon 

soon as I was upon the ground my pain 
was gone, before I could think what it 
was ; and the Hunger, which I felt dur- 
ing my Voyage, was fully satisfied with 
the sense that I had lost it. ^ 

When I was got up, I had hardly 
taken notice of the largest of Four 
great Rivers, which by their conflux 
make a Lake; when the Spirit, or in- 
visible Soul, of Plants that breath upon 
that Country, refreshed my Brain with 
a delightful smell: And I found that 
the Stones there were neither hard nor 
rough ; but that they carefully softened 
themselves when one trode upon them. 

^ I presently lig'hted upon a Walk with 
five Avenues, in figure like to a Star ; 
the Trees whereof seemed to reach up 

^ The translation is not fully adequate here; the 
French means :''... was fully satisfied, and left 
me in its place only a slight memory of having 
lost it." 

2 This beautiful Nature-description, the like of 
which cannot be found in all seventeenth-century 
French literature outside of Cyrano's works, was 
apparently his favorite passage, since it is the only 
one he has used twice. Cf. his Lettre XI. ^ '* D'une 
maison de campagne.'* 

Of his Arrival There 47 

to the Skie, a green plot of lofty Boughs : 
Casting up my Eyes from the root to 
the top, and then making the same Sur- 
vey downwards, I was in doubt whether 
the Earth carried them, or tliey the 
Earth, hanging by their Roots: Their 
high and stately Forehead seemed also 
to bend, as it were by force, under the 
weight of the Celestial Globes; and 
one would say, that their Sighs and out- 
stretched Arms, wherewith they em- 
braced the Firmament, demanded of 
the Stars the bounty of their purer In- 
fluences before they had lost any thing 
of their Innocence in the contagious 
Bed of the Elements. The Flowers 
there on all hands, without the aid of 
any other Gardiner but Nature, send 
out so sweet (though wild) a Perfume, 
that it rouzes and delights the Smell : 
There the incarnate of a Rose upon the 
Bush, and the lively Azure of a Violet 
under the Rushes, captivating the 
Choice, make each of themselves to be 
judged the Fairest: There the whole 
Year is Spring; there no poysonous 

48 A Voyage to the Moon 

Plant sprouts forth, but is as soon de- 
stroyed ; there the Brooks by an agree- 
able murmuring, relate their Travels to 
the Pebbles ; there Thousands of Quir- 
isters rbake the Woods resound with 
their melodious Notes ; and the quaver- 
ing Clubs of these divine Musicians are 
so universal, that every Leaf of the 
Forest seems to have borrowed the 
Tongue and shape of a Nightingale; 
nay, and the Nymph Ecclw is so delight- 
ful ' with their Airs, that to hear her 
repeat, one would say. She were soUici- 
tous to learn them. On the sides of 
that Wood are Two Meadows, whose 
continued Verdure seems an Emerauld 
reaching out of sight. The various 
Colours, which the Spring bestows upon 
the numerous little Flowers that grow 
there, so delightfully confounds and 
mingles their Shadows, that it is hard 
to be known, whether these Flowers 
shaken with a gentle Breeze pursue 
themselves, or fly rather from the Ca- 
resses of the Wanton ZepJiyrtis ; one 

1 In the literal sense, full of delight^ delighted. 

Of his Arrival There 49 

would likewise take that Meadow for an 
Ocean, because, as the Sea, it presents 
no Shoar to the view ; insomuch, that 
mine Eye fearing it might lose it self, 
having roamed so long, and discovered 
no Coast, sent my Thoughts presently 
thither; and my Thoughts, imagining 
it to be the end of the World, were 
willing to be perswaded, that such 
charming places had perhaps forced 
the Heavens to descend and join the 
Earth there. In the midst of that vast 
and pleasant Carpet, a rustick Fountain 
bubbles up in Silver Purles, crowning 
its enamelled Banks with Sets of Vio- 
lets, and multitudes of other little 
Flowers, that seem to strive which 
shall first behold it self in that Chrystal 
Myrroir : It is as yet in the Cradle, be- 
ing but newly Born, and its Young and 
smooth Face shews not the least Wrin- 
kle. The large Compasses it fetches, 
in circling within it self, demonstrate 
its unwillingness to leave its native 
Soyl : And as if it had been ashamed to 
be caressed in presence of its Mother, 

50 A Voyage to the Moon 

•with a Murmuring it thrust back my 
hand that would have touched it : The 
Beasts that came to drink there, more 
rational than those of our World, 
seemed surprised to see it day upon the 
Horizon, whilst the Sun was with the 
Antipodes ; and durst not bend down- 
wards upon the Brink, for fear of fall- 
ing into the Firmament. 

I must confess to you, That at the 
sight of so many Fine things, I found 
my self tickled with these agreeable 
Twitches, which they say the Embryo 
feels upon the infusion of its Soul : My 
old Hair fell off, and gave place for 
thicker and softer Locks : I perceived 
my Youth revived, my face grow rud- 
dy, my natural Heat mingle gently 
again with my radical Moisture : And 
in a word, I grew younger again by at 
least Fourteen Years. 


Of a Youth whom he met there ^ mid of 
their Conversation : what that country 
was^ and the Inhabitants of it. 

I had advanced half a League, 
through a Forest of Jessamines and 
Myrtles, when I perceived something 
that stirred, lying in the Shade : It was 
a Youth, whose Majestick Beauty 
forced me almost to Adoration. He 
started up to hinder me; crying, '' It is 
not to me but to God that you owe 
these Humilities. " " You see one, " an- 
swered I, " stunned with so many Won- 
ders that I know not what to admire 
most ; for coming from a World, which 
without doubt you take for a Moon 
here, I thought I had arrived in anoth- 
er, which our Worldlings call a Moon 
also; and behold I am in Paradice at 
the Feet of a God, who will not be 

52 A Voyage to the Moon 

Adored." ''Except the quality' of a 
God," replied he, "whose Creature I 
only am, the rest you say is true : This 
Land is the Moon, which you see from 
your Globe, and this place where you 
are ic*^"* ^ ^ ^ * ^ * ;}c"2 

''Now at that time Man's Imagina- 
tion was so strong, as not being as yet 
corrupted, neither by Debauches, the 
Crudity of Aliments, nor the altera- 
tions of Diseases, that being excited by 
a violent desire of coming to this Sanc- 
tuary, and his Body becoming light 
through the heat of this Inspiration; 
he was carried thither in the same man- 

^ " Quality" = title y as often in the seventeenth 
century; cf, Shakspere, Henry V.: 

" Gentlemen of blood and quality." 

2 Probably a long passage has been lost here, in 
which the "Youth" (the Prophet Elijah, who had 
" translated " himself hither and become young by 
eating of the Tree of Life) describes the place 
where they are as the original Garden of Eden ; 
and tells of the Creation, the Fall, and the Ban- 
ishment of Adam and Eve. At the beginning of 
the next paragraph he is still speaking, and tell- 
ing of Adam's transference from the Moon to the 

A Youth He Met There 


ner, as some Philosophers, who having- 
fixed their Imagination upon the con- 
templation of a certain Object have 
sprung up in the Air by Ravishments, 
which you call Extasies. The Woman, 
who through the infirmity of her Sex 
was weaker and less hot, could not, 
without doubt, have the imagination 
strong enough to make the Intension 
of her Will prevail over the Ponder- 
ousness of her Matter; but because 
there were very few ^ ^ ^ ^ the 
Sympathy which still united that half 
to its whole, ^ drew her towards him as 
he mounted up, as the Amber attracts 
the Straw, [as] the Load-stone turns 
towards the North from whence it 
hath been taken, and drew to him that 
part of himself, as the Sea draws the 
Rivers which proceed from it. When 
they arrived in your Earth, they dwelt 
betwixt Mesopotamia and Arabia:"^ 
Some People knew them by the name 

1 The woman to the man, from whose side she 
was taken. Probably only a few words have been 
omitted at the last hiatus. 

2 The supposed situation of the Earthly Paradise. 

54 A Voyage to the Moon 

of ^ ^ ^ */ and others tinder that of 
Prometheus, whom the Poets feigned to 
have stolen Fire from Heaven, by rea- 
son of his Off-spring, who were en- 
dowed with a Soul as perfect as his 
own : So that to inhabit your World, 
that Man left this destitute; but the 
All- wise would not have so blessed an 
Habitation, to remain without Inhabi- 
tants ; He suffered a few ages after that 

* * ^ cloyed with the company of Men, 
whose Innocence was corrupted, had a 
desire to forsake them. This person,^ 
however, thought no retreat secure 
enough from the Ambition of Men, who 
already Murdered one another about the 
distribution of your World ; except that 
blessed Land, which his Grand-Father* 

^ Adam and Eve. 

2 We may imagine this a short hiatus, to be filled 
in as follows: " He suffered a few ages after that, 
that a holy man^ whose name was Enochs cloyed with 
the company of men. ..." etc. 

3 Enoch. On his translation, which Cyrano here 
makes Elijah account for, see Genesis, chapter v. 

4 Adam. Cyrano may possibly have confused 

A Youth He Met There ^^ 

had so often mentioned unto him, and 
to which no Body had as yet found 
out the way: But his Imagination 
supplied that; for seeing he had ob- 
served that * * ^ he filled Two large 
Vessels which he sealed Hermetically, 
and fastened them under his Arm-pits : 
So soon as the Smoak began to rise up- 
wards, and could not pierce through the 
Mettal, it forced up the Vessels on high, 
and with them also that Great Man.^ 
When he was got as high as the Moon, 
and had cast his Eyes upon that lovel}^ 
Garden, a fit of almost supernatural Joy 
convinced him, that that was the place 
where his Grand-father had heretofore 
lived. He quickly untied the Vessels, 
which he had girt like Wings about his 
Shoulders, and did it so luckily, that he 
was scarcely Four Fathom in the Air 

the Enoch who was translated with another Enoch 
who was the son of Cain and so grandson of Adam. 
But it is more probable that he used the word 
ateul in its common sense of ancestor; as indeed 
"grandfather" was used in old English. 

1 Cf, the play: " Since smoke by its nature as- 
cends, I could have blown into an appropriate 
globe a sufficient quantity to ascend with me." 

56 A Voyage to the Moon 

above the Moon, when he set his Fins 
a going ; ^ yet he was high enough still 
to have been hurt by the fall, had it 
not been for the large skirts of his 
Gown, which being swelled by the 
Wind, gently upheld him till he set 
Foot on ground.'^ As for the two Ves- 
sels, they mounted up to a certain place, 
where they have continued : And those 
are they, which now a-days you call the 

"" I must now tell you, the manner 
how I came hither : I believe you have 
not forgot my name,^ seeing it is not 
long since I told it you. You shall 
know then, that I lived on the agreeable 
Banks of one of the most renowned 
Rivers of your World, where amongst 
my Books, I lead a Life pleasant 
enough not to be lamented, though it 
slipt away fast enough. In the mean 
while, the more I encreased in Knowl- 

1 " Qu'il prit conge de ses nageoires," = " when 
he abandoned \ns floats (or bladders).'^ 

2 Cyrano may here be credited with anticipating 
the idea of the parachute. 

3 Elijah. The passage referred to is lost. 

How He Came Thither ' ^j 

edge, the more I knew my Ignorance. 
Our Learned Men never put me in 
mind of the famous Mada^^ but the 
thoughts of his perfect Philosophy 
made me to Sigh. I was despairing of 
being able to attain to it, when one day, 
after a long and profound Studying. I 
took a piece of Load-stone about two 
Foot square, which I put into a Fur- 
nace ; and then after it was well purged, 
precipitated and dissolved, I drew the 
calcined Attractive of it, and reduced it 
into the size of about an ordinary Bowl. ^ 
" After the Preparations, I got a very 
light Machine of Iron made, into which 
I went, and when I was well seated 
in my place, I threw this Magnetick 
Bowl as high as I could up into the 
Air. Now the Iron Machine, which I 
had purposely made more massive in 
the middle than at the ends, was pres- 
ently elevated, and in a just Poise; be- 
cause the middle received the greatest 
force of Attraction. So then, as I ar- 

^ Spell the name backward. 

2 Ball Cf. Bowling. Cf . also p. 177. 

58 * A Voyage to the Moon 

rived at the place whither my Load- 
stone had attracted me, I presently 
threw up my Bowl in the Air over me. *' * 
'' But," said I, interrupting him, " How 
came you to heave up your Bowl so 
straight over your Chariot, that it 
never happened to be on one side of it? " 
" That seems to me to be no wonder at 
all, '* said he ; " for the Load-stone being 
once thrown up in the Air, drew the 
Iron streight towards it ; and so it was 
impossible, that ever I should mount 
side-ways. Nay more, I can tell you, 
that when I held the Bowl in my hand, 
I was still mounting upwards ; because 
the Chariot flew always to the Load- 
stone, which I held over it. But the 
effort of the Iron to be united to my 
Bowl, was so violent that it made my 
Body bend double; so that I durst but 

^ Cf. the " sixth means " in the play: "Or else, I 
could have placed myseif upon an iron plate, have 
taken a magnet of suitable size, and thrown it in 
the air ! That way is a very good one ! The mag- 
net flies upward, the iron instantly after; the 
magnet no sooner overtaken than you fling it up 
again. . . . The rest is clear! You can go upward 

How He Came Thither 59 

once essay that new Experiment. The 
truth is, it was a very surprizing Spec- 
tacle to behold; for the Steel of that 
flying House, which I had very carefully 
Polished, reflected on all sides the light 
of the Sun with so great life and lustre, 
that I thought my self to be all on fire.^ 
In fine, after often Bowling and follow- 
ing of my Cast, I came, as you did, to 
an Elevation from which I descended 
towards this World; and because at 
that instant I held my Bowl very 
fast between my hands, my Machine, 
whereof the Seat pressed me hard, that 
it might approach its Attractive, did 
not forsake me ; all that now I feared 
was, that I should break my Neck : But 
to save me from that, ever now and 
then I tossed up my Bowl ; that by its 
attractive Virtue it might prevent the 
violent Descent of my Machine, and 
render my fall more easie, as indeed it 
happened; for when I saw my self 
within Two or three hundred fathom of 

1 The " chariot of fire" in which Elijah was taken 
up into heaven. Cf. 2 Kings, ii. 11. 

6o A Voyage to the Moorn 

the Earth, I threw out my Bowl on all 
hands, level with the Chariot, some- 
times on this side, and sometimes on 
that, until I came to a certain Distance ; 
and immediately then, I tossed it up 
above me; so that my Machine follow- 
ing it, I left it, and let my self fall on the 
other side, as gently as I could, upon 
the Sand ; insomuch that my fall was no 
greater than if it had been but my own 
height. I shall not describe to you 
the amazement I was in at the sight of 
the wonders of this place, seeing it was 
so like the same, wherewith I just now 
saw you seized. [^ You shall know then, 
that on the morrow I met with the 
Tree of Life, by the means of which I 
have kept my self from growing old ; it 
straightway consumed the Serpent ^ and 
made him to vanish away in smoke." 

1 The following pages are translated from the 
text as printed for the first time, from the Mann- 
script at the Biblioik^que N'ationale^ in an appendix 
to M. Brun's thesis on Cyrano Bergerac, 1893. 

2 "The serpent," as soon appears, is original sin ^ 

"Brought death into the world, and all our woe." 

The Tree of Knowledge 6i 

At these words : " Venerable and holy 
patriarch/' said I to him, "I am eager 
to know what you understand by that 
Serpent which was consumed.'* He, 
with face a smiling, answered me 
thus: ..." 

" The Tree of Knowledge is planted 
opposite; its fruit is covered with a 
Rind which produces Ignorance in 
whomsoever hath tasted thereof; yet 
this Rind preserves underneath its 
thickness all the spiritual virtues of 
this learned food. God, when he had 
driven Adam from this fortunate coun- 
try, rubbed his gums with this same 
Rind, that he might never find the 
w^ay back again ; for m.ore than fifteen 
years thereafter he did dote, and did 
so completely forget all things, that 
neither he nor any of his descendants 
^till Moses ever remembered even so 
much as the Creation ; but what Power 
was left of this direful Rind at last 
passed away through the warmth and 

1 Our author's treatment of "original sin" is, 
according to M. Brun, unprintable. 

62 A Voyage to the Moon 

brightness of that great Prophet's ge- 

" I happily met with one among these 
apples, which through ripeness was 
despoiled of its skin; hardly had my 
mouth watered with it, when Universal 
Knowledge penetrated my being, I felt 
as it were an infinite number of Eyes 
fix themselves in my head, and I knew 
the means of speaking with the Lord. 

"When I have since reflected on 
these miiraculous events, I have judged 
that I could in no wise have overcome, 
by any occult powers of a simple natu- 
ral body, the vigilance of that Seraph 
whom God has ordained to guard this 
Paradise ; but since he is pleased to use 
second causes^ I imagined that he had in- 
spired me to find this means of entering 
there ; even as he thought good to take 
of the ribs of Adam to make him a 
wife, though he could form her of 
Earth, as well as he did Adam. 

" I remained long in this Garden, 
walking about alone ; but in fine, since 
the angel that was Keeper of the Gate 

The Guardian Archangel 63 

seemed to me to be in chief my Host 
here, I was taken with the desire to 
salute him. In an hour's journey I 
came to a place where a thousand 
Lightnings min^^jled together in one 
blinding light that served but to make 
Darkness visible. I was not yet fully 
recovered from this dazzlement, when I 
saw before me a beautiful Young man. 
' I am,' said he, ' the Archangel whom 
you seek, I have but now read in God 
that he had inspired you with the 
means of coming here, and that he 
willed you should here expect his pleas- 
ure. ' He talked with me of many 
things, and told me among the rest: 

" That the light wherewith I had been 
amazed was nothing fearful, but that it 
appeared almost every evening when 
he went his rounds, seeing that to avoid 
sudden attack from the Evil Spirits, 
which may enter secretly at any place, 
he was constrained mightily to swing 
his Flaming Sword in circles, all about 
the bounds of the Earthly Paradise; 
and that the light I had seen was the 

64 A Voyage to the Moon 

lightnings which the steel of it gave 
forth. ' Those also which you perceive 
from your Earth, ' he added, ' are of 
my creation. And if sometimes you 
see them at a great distance, it is be- 
cause the clouds of some distant region 
hold themselves in such disposition as 
to receive an impression of these un- 
bodied fires, and reflect them to your 
eyes; just as clouds otherwise disposed 
raay prove themselves fit to make the 
Rain- bow. ' 

" I will not instruct you further in 
these matters, since to be sure the Ap- 
ple of Knowledge is not far from hence ; 
whereof as soon as you have eaten, you 
will know all things even as I. But 
see you make no mistake, for most of 
the Fruits that hang from that Plant 
are encased in a Rind, whose taste will 
abase you even below man; while the 
part within will make you mount up to 
be even as the Angels." 

Elijah had come to this point of the 
teachings of the Seraph, when a little 
short man came up with us; ^^This is 

The Hermitage of Enoch 65 

that Enoch of whom I told yon," said 
my guide to me apart ; and even while 
he finished the words, Enoch offered us 
a basketful of I know not what fruits, 
like to Pomegranates, which he had 
but discovered that same day in a dis- 
tant coppice. I took some and put in 
my pockets, as Elijah bade me. Here- 
upon Enoch asked him who I might be. 
" That is a matter, " answered my guide, 
" to entertain us at more leisure ; this 
evening when we have withdrawn he 
shall tell us himself of the miraculous 
particulars of his journey." 

With these words we arrived beneath 
a sort of Hermitage, made of palm- 
branches skilfully inter - laced with 
myrtle and orange-branches. There 
I saw, in a little nook, great piles of a 
kind of floss-silk, so white and so deli- 
cate that one might take it for the vir- 
gin Soul of the snow ; and I saw dis- 
taffs lying here and there ; whereupon 
I asked my guide what use they served. 
"To spin," he answered me; "when 
the good Enoch would relax his mind 

66 A Voyage to the Moon 

from meditation, he applies himself 
sometimes to dressing this Ladj^-distaff , 
sometimes to weaving the cloth from 
which they make Shifts for the eleven 
thousand Virgins. Surely in your 
world you have met with that some- 
thing white, which flutters on the 
winds in Autumn about the season of 
the Winter-sowings. Your peasant- 
folk call it Our Lady's Cotton, but 
it is no other than the Flock that 
Enoch purges his Linen of, when he 
cards it." 

We made little delay there, and but 
barely took leave of Enoch, whom this 
cabin served for his Cell ; in truth what 
made us leave him so soon was this : 
that he said some prayer there every 
six hours ; and it was at least that time 
since he had finished the last one. 

As we went forward, I begged Elijah 
to finish that history which he had be- 
gun, of the Assu7nptions or Transla- 
tions ; and I said, that he had come, 
I thought, to that of Saint John the 

The Author's Impety 67 

Then said he to me: "Since you 
have not the patience, to wait till the 
Apple of Knowledge teach you all these 
things better than I can, I will even tell 
you. Know then that God " 

At this word, in some way I know 
not how, the Devil would have his Fin- 
ger in that pie ; or howsoever it came 
about, so it was that I could not for- 
bear Interrupting him with raillery. 

"I remember that case,'* said I: 
"God heard one day that the Soul of 
the Evangelist was so loosed from his 
Body, that he no more kept it in but by 
shutting his teeth hard; and at that 
moment the hour when he had fore- 
seen that he should be translated hither 
was almost past ; so having no time to 
get him a machine made ready for 
coming, He was constrained to make 
him suddenly be here, without having 
time to bring him. " 

During all my discourse Elijah bent 
upon me such a look, as would have 
been fit to kill me, had I then been 
capable of dying from aught but Hun- 

68 A Voyage to the Moon 

ger. "Thou Wretch," said he, and 
drew back in horror., " thou hast the in- 
solence to rail at Holy Things ! Surely 
thou shouldst not go unpunished, were 
it not that the All-wise determines to 
spare thee as a marvellous example of 
His long-suffering, a witness to the Na- 
tions. Get hence, thou Blasphemer, go 
thou and publish in this little World, 
and in the other (for thou art predes- 
tined to return thither), the unforget- 
ting Hatred that God bears to Athe- 

Hardly had he finished this Curse, 
when he seized me roughly to drag 
me toward the Gate. When we were 
arrived beside a great Tree whose 
branches bent almost to Earth with the 
burden of their Fruit, " Here," said he, 
" is that Tree of Knowledge where thou 
shouldst have got Enlightenment in- 
conceivable, but for thy Infidelity." 

At that word I feigned to swoon with 
weakness, and letting my self fall 
against a low branch I handily filched 
an Apple from it. And in but a few 

Cast Out from the Garden 69 

strides more I was set down outside of 
that delicious Garden. 

In that moment, being so violently 
pressed by Hunger, that I even forgot 
I was in the grip of the angry Prophet, 
I drew from my pocket one of those 
Apples I had filled it with, wherein I 
buried my teeth as deep as I could. 
But so it was, that in place of taking 
one of those Enoch had given me, my 
hand fell on that very Apple I had 
plucked from the Tree of Knowledge, 
which for my misfortune I had not 
freed of its Rind.] 

' Scarcely had I tasted it, when a thick 
Cloud over-cast my Soul : I saw no body 
now near me ; and in the whole Hemi- 
sphere my Eyes could not discern the 
least Tract of the way I had made ; yet 
nevertheless I fully remembered every 
thing that befel me. When I reflected 
since upon that Miracle, I fanced that 
the skin of the Fruit which I bit had 
not rendered me altogether brutish; 

1 Here the original text resumes, as found in all 
the editions, both French and English. 

"JO A Voyage to the Moon 

because my Teeth piercing through it 
were a little moistened by the Juyce 
within, the efficacy whereof had dissi- 
pated the Malignities of the Rind. I 
was not a little surprised to see my self 
all alone, in a Country I knew not. It 
was to no purpose for me to stare and 
look about me; for no Creature ap- 
peared to comfort me. 


Being cast out from that Country, of the 
new Adventures which Befell Jiim ; 
and of the Demon of Socrates. 

At length I resolved to march for- 
wards, till Fortune should af ord me the 
company of some Beasts, or at least 
the means of Dying. She favourably 
granted my desire; for within half a 
quarter of a League, I met two huge 
Animals, one of which stopt before me, 
and the other fled swiftly to its Den; 
for so I thought at least; because that 
some time after, I perceived it come 
back again in company of above Seven 
or Eight hundred of the same kind, who 
beset me. When I could discern them 
at a near distance, I perceived that they 
were proportioned and shaped like us. 
This adventure brought into my mind 
the old Wives Tales of my Nurse con- 

72 A Voyage to the Moon 

cerning Syrenes, Faiuies and Satyrs : 
Ever now and then they raised such 
furious Shouts, occasioned undoubtedly 
by their Admiration ' at the sight of 
me, that I thought I was e'en turned 
a Monster. At length one of these 
Beast-like men, catching hold of me by 
the Neck, just as Wolves do when they 
carry away Sheep, tossed me upon his 
back and brought me into their Town; 
where I was more amazed than before, 
when I knew they were Men, that I 
could meet with none of them but who 
marched upon all four. 

When these People saw that I was so 
little, (for most of them are Twelve 
Cubits long,) and that I walked only 
upon Two Legs, they could not believe 
me to be a Man: For they were of 
opinion, that Nature having given to 
men as well as Beasts Two Legs and 
Two Arms, they should both make use 
of them alike. And, indeed, reflecting 
upon that since, that scituation of Body 
did not seem to me altogether extrava- 

1 Astonishment. 

New Adventures 73 

gant ; when I called to mind, that whilst 
Children are. still under the nurture of 
Nature, they go upon all four, and that 
they rise not on their two Legs but by 
the care of their Nurses ; who set them 
in little running Chairs, and fasten 
straps to them, to hinder them from 
falling on all four, as the only posture 
that the shape of our Body naturally 
inclines to rest in. 

They said then, (as I had it interpre- 
ted to me since) That I was infallibly 
the Female of the Queens little Ani- 
mal. And therefore as such, or some- 
what else, I was carried streight to the 
Town-House, where I observed by the 
muttering and gestures both of the 
People and Magistrates, that they were 
consulting what sort of a thing I could 
be. When they had conferred together 
a long while, a certain Burgher, who 
had the keeping of the strange Beasts, 
besought the Mayor and Aldermen to 
commit me to his Custody, till the 
Queen should send for me to couple 
me to my Male. This was granted 

74 A Voyage to the Moon 

without any difficulty, and that Juggler 
carried me to his House ; where he 
taught me to Tumble, Vault, make 
Mouths, and shew a Hundred odd 
Tricks, for which in the Afternoons he 
received Money at the door from those 
that came in to see me. 

But Heaven pitying my Sorrows, 
and vext to see the Temple of its 
Maker profaned, so ordered it, tha~ 
one day [when] I was tied to a Rope, 
wherewith the Mountebank made me 
Leap and Skip to divert the People, 
I heard a Man's voice, who asked me 
what I was, in Greek. I was much sur- 
prised to hear one speak in that Coun- 
try as they do in our World. He put 
some Questions to me, which I an- 
swered, and then gave him a full ac- 
count of my whole design, and the suc- 
cess of my Travels : He took the pains 
to comfort me, and, as I take it, said to 
me : '' Well, Son, at length you suif er 
for the frailties of 3^our World : There is 
a Mobile ^ here, as well as there, that can 

^ Mobile = people, populace. Cf. p. 145. 

The Demon of Socrates 75 

sway with nothing but what they are 
accustomed to : But know, that you are 
but justly served ; for had any one of 
this Earth had the boldness to mount 
up to yours, and call himself a Man, 
your Sages would have destroyed him 
as a Monster." 

He then told me, That he would 
acquaint the Court with my disaster; 
adding, that so soon as he had heard 
the news that went of me, he came 
to see me, and was satisfied that I 
was a man of the World of which I 
said I was; because he had Travelled 
there formerly, and sojourned in Greece^ 
where he was called the Demon of Soc- 
rates : That after the Death of that 
Philosopher, he had governed and 
taught Epaininondas at Thebes : After 
which being gone over to the Romans^ 
Justice had obliged him to espouse the 
party of the Younger Cato : That after 
his Death, he had addicted himself to 
Brutus : That all these great Men hav- 
ing left in that World no more but the 
shadow of their Virtues, he with his 

76 A Voyage to the Moon 

Companions had retreated to Temples 
and Solitudes. " In a word," added he, 
" the People of your World became so 
dull and stupid, that my Companions 
and I lost all the Pleasure that former- 
ly we had had in instructing them : Not 
but that you have heard Men talk of 
us ; for they called us Oracles, Nymphs, 
Geniuses, Fairies, HoiisJwld-Gods, Leni- 
mes,' Larves,'^ Laviiers,^ Hobgoblins, 
Nayacies, Lienbnsses, Shades, Mamies, 
Visions and Apparitions : We aban- 
doned your World, in the Reign of Au- 
gnstns, not long after I had appeared to 
Driisns the Son of Livia, who waged 
War in Germany, whom I forbid to pro- 
ceed any farther. It is not long since I 
came from thence a second time ; within 
these Hundred Years I had a Commis- 
sion to Travel thither : I roamed a great 
deal in Europe, and conversed with 

iLemures; malicious spirits of the dead. Cf. 
Milton : 

"The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight 

2 Lars, larvas; ghosts, spectres. 

3 Lamias; female demons or vampires. 

The Demon of Socrates 'jj 

some, whom possibly you may have 
known. One Day, amongst others, I 
appeared to Cardan,^ as he was at his 
Study; I taught him a great many 
things, and he in acknowledgment 
promised me to inform Posterity of 
whom he had those "Wonders, which he 
intended to leave in writing."^ There 
I S3.v^ Agrippa^^ the Abbot Tritliemms,^ 
Doctor Faiistics^ La Brosst\ Ccesar^ ' and 
a certain Cabal of Young Men, who 
are commonly called Rosacrtccians ^ or 

1 Cf. p. 12, n. I. 

^ ''Jerome Cardan pretended to have written 
most of his books tmder the dictation of a Famil- 
iar Spirit . . . but, in his treatise De Rerum Varie- 
tate, he ingenuously declares that he had never had 
any other genius but his own : Ego certe 7inllum 
dceinofie?}i aiit ge7iiiim 7nihi adesse cog)ioscoy (Note 
of Paul Lacroix.) 

3 Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim, 1486-1535, 
philosopher, astrologer, and alchemist. Cyrano 
introduces him in his Lettf-e XII. ^ "Pour les 

■* Jean Tritheme (or Johann Tritheim), Abbot of 
Spanheim; a man of universal scholarship, and an 
experimenter in alchemy; also accused of sorcery. 

5 Cesar de Nostradamus, physician and astrologer 
of the early sixteenth century. 

f A famous occult order which probably never 

78 A Voyage to the Moon 

Knights of the Red- Cross ^ whom I taught 
a great many Knacks and Secrets of 
Nature, which without doubt have made 
them pass for great Magicians: I knew 
Canipanclla^ also; it was I that advised 
him, whilst he was in the Inquisition at 
Ro7ne, to put his Face and Body into 
the usual Postures of those whose in- 
side he needed to know, that by the 
same frame of Body he might excite in 
himself the thoughts which the same 
scituation had raised in his Adversa- 
ries; because by so doing, he might 
better manage their Soul, when he came 

existed, but about which much was written in the 
first half of the seventeenth century. It was sup- 
posed to have been founded early in the fifteenth 
century by Rosenkrenz, a pilgrim who had ac- 
quired all the wisdom of the Orient. 

1 Tomaso Campanella, 1568-1639, Italian poet and 
philosopher, who came to Paris in 1634. His phi- 
losophy was much admired by Cyrano, since he re- 
jected the Aristotelism of the schools, advocated 
empiricism as the only method of arriving at truth, 
and insisted on the ''four Elements" as the origin 
of all things. 

Reappears as an important character in C^Tano's 
Voyage to the Sun, where he is Cyrano's companion 
and guide to the Land of the Philosophers. 

The Demon of Socrates 79 

to know it ; and at my desire he began 
a Book, which we Entituled, De Seiisii 
Rerum. ^ 

'' I likewise haunted, in Finance, La 
Mot he le Vaj'er ^ Sind Gassendus ;^ this 
last hath written as much like a Phi- 
losopher, as the other lived: I have 
known a great many more there, whom 
your Age call Divines ^'^ but all that I 
could find in them was a great deal of 
Babble and a great deal of Pride. In 
fine, since I past over from your Coun- 
try into England^ to acquaint my self 
with the manners of its Inhabitants, J 

1 Campanella's principal work, published in 1620. 

2 Frangois de La Mothe le Vayer, 1588-1672. He 
was the tutor of the Due d'0rl6ans, brother of 
Louis XIV., and, after 1654, of Louis XIV. himself. 
In philosophy he was a free-thinker, in literature a 
disciple of Montaigne. He nevertheless concealed 
his scepticism in philosophy, even in his chief 
work, the Doutes sceptiques^ under a pretended 
orthodoxy in religion, and so was never persecuted. 
Possibly it is to this that Cyrano refers in saying, 
that he '* lived as much like a philosopher, as Gas- 
sendi wrote." 

3 Cf. p 28, n. I. 

4 Divine, The translator has mistaken an ad- 
jective for a noun. 

8o A Voyage to the Moon 

met with a Man, the shame of his Coun- 
try; for certainly it is a great shame 
for the Grandees of your States to 
know the virtue which in him has its 
Throne, and not to adore him : That I 
may give you an Abridgement of his 
Panegyrick, he is all Wit, all Heart, and 
possesses all the Qualities, of which 
one alone was heretofore sufficient to 
make an Heroe: It was Tristan the 
Hermite.' The Truth is, I must tell 
you, when I perceived so exalted a Vir- 
tue I mistrusted it would not be taken 
notice of, and therefore I endeavoured 
to make him accept Three Vials, the 
first filled with the Oyl of Talk,' the 
other with the Powder of Projection,^ 

1 Frangois Tristan THermite, 1601-1655, a French 
dramatist of importance. His tragedy of Ma- 
riajnne^ in date contemporary with Corneille's Cid^ 
marks him as a predecessor of Racine in method 
and manner. He is also the author of fugitive 
verse, but neither that nor his plays make him 
quite worthy of Cyrano's exalted "Elogy." 

He was compelled to pass the years 1614-1620 in 
England, on account of a duel fought at the age of 
thirteen ! 2 Talc, silicate of magnesia. 

3 The "Philosopher's Stone," in form of powder, 

The Demon of Socrates 8 1 

and the third with Aitriim Potabile ;^ 
but he refused them with a more gen- 
erous Disdain than Diogenes did the 
Complements of Alexander. In fine, I 
can add nothing to the Elogy ^ of that 
Great Man, but that he is the only 
Poet, the only Philosopher, and the 
only Free-man amongst you: These 
are the considerable Persons that I con- 
versed with ; all the rest, at least that 
I know, are so far below Man that I 
have seen Beasts somewhat above 

" After all, I am not a Native neither 
of this Country nor yours, I was born 
in the Sun ; but because sometimes our 
World is overstock 'd with people, by 
reason of the long Lives of the Inhabi- 
tants, and that there is hardly any 
Wars or Diseases amongst them: Our 
Magistrates, from time to time, send 

for chemical "projection" upon baser metals, to 
transmute them into gold. 

1 The "Elixir of Life," or the "Philosopher's 
Stone " in liquid form. 

2 Eulogy. Still so used at the end of the eigh- 
teenth century. 


82 A Voyage to the Moon 

Colonies into the neighbouring Worlds. 
For my own part, I was commanded to 
go to yours; being declared Chief of 
the Colony that accompanyed me. I 
came since into this World, for the 
Reasons I told you; and that which 
makes me continue here, is, because the 
Men are great lovers of Truth ; and have 
no Pedants among them ; that the Phi- 
losophers are never perswaded but by 
Reason, and that the Authority of a 
Doctor, or of a great number, is not 
preferred before the Opinion of a 
Thresher in a Barn, when he has right 
on his side. In short, none are reck- 
oned Mad-men in this Country, but 
Sophisters and Orators.'* I asked him 
how they lived? he made answer, three 
or four thousand Years ; and thus went 

^* Though the Inhabitants of the Sun 
be not so numerous as those of this 
World ; yet the Sun is many times over 
stocked, because the People being of a 
hot constitution are stirring and ambi- 
tious, and digest much.'* 

The People of the Sun 83 

"You ought not to be surprised at 
what I tell you ; for though our Globe be 
very vast, and yours little, though we 
die not before the end of Four thou- 
sand Years, and you at the end of 
Fifty ; yet know, that as there are not 
so many Stones as clods of Earth, nor 
so many Animals as Plants, nor so 
many Men as Beasts; just so there 
ought not to be so many Spirits as 
Men, by reason of the difficulties that 
occur in the Generation of a perfect 

I asked him, if they were Bodies as 
we are? He made answer, That they 
were Bodies, but not likcj us, nor any 
thing else which we judged such ; be- 
cause we call nothing a Body common- 
ly, but what we can touch: That, in 
short, there was nothing in Nature but 
what was material; and that though 
they themselves were so, yet they were 
forced, when they had a mind to appear 
to us, to take Bodies proportionated to 
what our Senses are able to know ; and 
that, without doubt, that was the rea- 

84 A Voyage to the Moon 

son why many have taken the Stories 
that are told of them for the Delusions 
of a weak Fancy, because they only 
appeared in the night time: He told 
me withal, That seeing they were ne- 
cessitated to piece together the Bodies 
they were to make use of, in great 
haste, many times they had not leisure 
enough to render them the Objects of 
more Senses than one at a time, some- of the Hearing, as the Voices of 
Oracles:, sometimes of the Sight, as the 
Fires and Visions^ sometimes of the 
Feeling, as the Jnculmsses ; and that 
these Bodies being but Air condensed 
in such or such a manner, the Light 
dispersed them by its heat, in the same 
manner as it scatters a Mist. 

So many fine things as he told me, 
gave me the curiosity to question him 
about his Birth and Death; if in the 
Country of the Sun, the i7idividual was 
procreated by the ways of Generation, 
and if it died by the dissolution of its 
Constitution, or the discomposure of its 
Organs? ^'Your senses," replied he, 

The People of the Sun 85 

" bear but too little proportion to the Ex- 
plication of these Mysteries : Ye Gentle- 
men imagine, that whatsoever you can- 
not comprehend is spiritual, or that it is 
not at all; but that Consequence ^ is ab- 
surd, and it is an argument, that there 
are a Million of things, perhaps, in the 
Universe, that would require a Million 
of different Organs in you to under- 
stand them. For instance, I by my 
Senses know the cause of the Sympa- 
thy that is betwixt the Load-stone and 
the Pole, of the ebbing and flowing of 
the Sea, and what becomes of the Ani- 
mal after Death; you cannot reach 
these high Conceptions but by Faith, 
because they are Secrets above the 
power of your Intellects ; no more than 
a Blind-man can judge of the beauties 
of a Land-skip, the Colours of a Pic- 
ture, or the streaks of a Rain-bow ; or 

1 Consequence = conclusion^ deduction. Cf. Mat- 
thew Prior: 

" Can syllogisms set things right? 
No, majors soon with minors fight. 
Or both in friendly consort joined 
The consequence limps false behind." 

86 A Voyage to the Moon 

at best he will fancy them to be some- 
what palpable, to be like Eating, a 
Sound, or a pleasant Smell : Even so, 
should I attempt to explain to you 
what I perceive by the Senses which 
you want, you would represent it to 
your self as somewhat that may be 
Heard, Seen, Felt, Smelt or Tasted, 
and yet it is no such thing. " 

He was gone on so far in his Dis- 
course, when my Juggler perceived, 
that the Company began to be weary 
of my Gibberish, that they understood 
not, and which they took to be an inar- 
ticulated Grunting: He therefore fell 
to pulling my Rope afresh to make me 
leap and skip, till the Spectators hav- 
ing had their Belly-fulls of Laughing, 
affirmed that I had almost as much Wit 
as the Beasts of their Country, and so 
broke up. 


Of the Languages of tlie People in the 
Moon; of the Manner of Feeding 
tJiere^ and <?/ Paying tlie Scot ; and of 
how the AiitJior z^'as taken to Court, 

Thus, all the comfort I had during 
the misery of my hard Usage, were the 
visits of this officious ^ Spirit ; for you 
may judge what conversation I could 
have with these that came to see me, 
since besides that they only took me 
for an Animal, in the highest class of 
the Category of Bruits, I neither under- 
stood their Language, nor they mine. 
For you must know, that there are but 
two Idioms in use in that Country, one 
for the Grandees, and another for the 
People in general. 

^ Ofl&cious = kindly, ready to serve, doing good 
offices. Cf. Milton, Paradise Lost : 

" Yet, not to earth are those bright luminaries 
Officious; but to thee, earth's habitant." 

88 A Voyage to the Moon 

That of the great ones is no more 
but various inarticulate Tones, much 
like to our Musick when the Words are 
not added to the Air : ' and in reality it 
is an Invention both very useful and 
pleasant ; for when they are weary of 
talking, or disdain to prostitute their 
Throats to that Office, they take either 
a Lute or some other Instrument, 
whereby they communicate their 
Thoughts as well as by their Tongue: 
So that sometimes Fifteen or Twenty 
in a Company will handle a point of 
Divinity, or discuss the difficulties of a 
Law-suit, in the most harmonious Con- 
sort that ever tickled the Ear. 

The second, which is used by the 
Vulgar, is performed by a shivering of 
the Members, but not, perhaps, as you 

^ Cf. The Man in the Moone^ of Francis Godwin : 
" Their Language is very difficult, since it hath no 
Affinity with any other I ever heard, and consists 
not so much of Words and Letters, as Tunes and 
strange Sounds which no Letters can express; for 
there are few Words but signify several Things, 
and are distinguished only by their Sounds, which 
are sung as it were in uttering ; yea many W^ords 
consist of Tunes only, without W^ords." 

Languages of the Moon 89 

may imagine; for some parts of the 
Body signifie an entire Discourse ; for 
example, the agitation of a Finger, a 
Hand, an Ear, a Lip, an Arm, an Eye, 
a Cheek, every one severally will make 
Tip an Oration, or a Period with all the 
parts of it : Others serve only instead 
of Words, as the knitting of the Brows, 
the several quiverings of the Muscles, 
the turning of the Hands, the stamping 
of the Feet, the contorsion of the Arm ; 
so that when they speak, as their Cus- 
tom is, stark naked, their Members be- 
ing used to gesticulate their Concep- 
tions, move so quick that one would 
not think it to be a Man that spoke, but 
a Body that trembled. 

Every day almost the Spirit came to 
see me, and his rare Conversation made 
me patiently bear with the rigour of 
my Captivity. At length one morning 
I saw a Man enter my Cabbin, whom I 
knew not, who having a long while 
licked me gently, took me in his Teeth 
by the Shoulder, and with one of his 
Paws, wherewith he held me up for 

90 A Voyage to the Moon 

fear I might hurt my self, threw me 
upon his Back ; where I found my self 
so softly seated, and so much at my 
ease, that, [though] being afflicted to 
be used like a Beast, I had not the least 
desire of making my escape ; and be- 
sides, these Men that go upon all four 
are much swifter than we, seeing the 
heaviest of them make nothing of run- 
ning down a Stagg. 

In the mean time I was extreamly 
troubled that I had no news of my 
courteous Spirit; and the first night 
we came to our Inn, as I was walking in 
the Court, expecting till Supper should 
be ready, a pretty handsome young 
Man came smiling in my Face and 
cast his Two Fore-Legs about my Neck. 
After I had a little considered him: 
''How!" said he in French^ ''do you 
[not] know your Friend then? " I leave 
you to judge in what case I was at that 
time ; really, my surprise was so great, 
that I began to imagine, that all the 
Globe of the Moon, all that had befallen 
me, and all that I had seen, had only 

Languages and Manners 91 

been Enchantment: And that Beast- 
man, who was the same that had car- 
ried me all day, continued to speak to 
me in this manner ; *' Yon promised me, 
that the good Offices I did you should 
never be forgotten, and yet it seems 
you have never seen me before;" but 
perceiving me still in amaze : ^' In fine, " 
said he, ** I am that same Demon of Soc- 
rates^ who diverted you during your 
Imprisonment, and who, that I may 
still oblige you, took to my self a Body, 
on which I carried you to day : " " But," 
said I interrupting him, *' how can that 
be, seeing that all Day you were of a 
very long Stature, and now you are 
very short ; that all day long you had a 
weak and broken Voice, and now you 
have a clear and vigorous one ; that, in 
short, all day long you were a Grey- 
headed old Man, and are now a brisk 
young Blade : Is it then that whereas 
in my Country, the Progress is from 
Life to Death ; Animals here go Retro- 
grade from Death to Life, and by grow- 
ing old become young again." 

92 A Voyage to the Moon 

'' So soon as I had spoken to the 
Prince," said he, "and received orders 
to bring 3'ou to Court, I went and found 
you out where 3'ou were, and have 
brought you hither; but the Body I 
acted in was so tired out with the 
Journey, that all its Organs refused 
me their ordinary Functions, so that I 
enquired the way to the Hospital; 
where being come in I found the Body 
of. a young Man, just then expired by a 
very odd Accident, but yet very com- 
mon in this Country. I drew near 
him, pretending to find motion in him 
still, and protesting to those who were 
present, that he was not dead, and that 
what they thought to be the cause of 
his Death, was no more but a bare 
Lethargy ; so that without being per- 
ceived, I put my Mouth to his, by 
which I entred as with a breath : Then 
down dropt my old Carcass, and as if I 
had been that young Man, I rose and 
came to look for you, leaving the Spec- 
tators crying a Miracle. " 

With this they came to call us to Sup- 

The Manner of Eating 93 

per, and I followed my Guide into a 
Parlour richly furnished ; but ^Yhere I 
found nothing fit to be eaten. No Vic- 
tuals appearing, when I was ready to die 
of Hunger, made me ask him where the 
Cloath was laid : But I could not hear 
what he answered, for at that instant 
Three or Four young Boys, Children of 
the House, drew^ near, and with much 
Civility stript me to the Shirt. This 
new Ceremony so astonished me, that I 
durst not so much as ask my Pretty 
Valets de Chamber the cause of it ; and 
I cannot tell how my Guide, who asked 
me what I would begin with, could 
draw from me these two Words, A 
Potage ; but hardly had I pronounced 
them, when I smelt the odour of the 
most agreeable Soop that ever steamed 
in the rich Gluttons Xose : I was about 
to rise from my place, that I might 
trace that delicious Scent to its source, 
but my Carrier hindered me : " Whither 
are you going," said he, '' we shall fetch 
a walk by and by ; but now it is time to 
Eat, make an end of your Potage^ and 

94 A Voyage to the Moon 

then we'll have something else :" " And 
where the Devil is the Potage ? " an- 
swered I half angry: '' Have you laid a 
wager you'll jeer me all this Day? " " I 
thought," replied he, ''that at the Town 
we came from, 3^ou had seen your Master 
or some Bo[dy] else at meal, and that's 
the reason I told you not, how People 
feed in this Country. Seeing then you 
are still ignorant, you must know, that 
here they live on Steams. The art of 
Cookery is to shut up in great Vessels, 
made on purpose, the Exhalations that 
proceed from the Meat whilst it is a 
dressing ; and when they have provided 
enough of several sorts and several 
tastes, according to the Appetite of 
those they treat ; they open one Vessel 
where that Steam is kept, and after that 
another ; and so on till the Company be 

" Unless you have already lived after 
this manner, you would never think, 
that the Nose without Teeth and Gul- 
let can perform the office of the 
Mouth in feeding a Man; but I'll make 

The Manner of Eating 95 

you experience it your self." He had 
no sooner said so, but I found so many 
agreeable and nourishing Vapours enter 
the Parlour, one after another, that in 
less than half a quarter of an Hour I was 
fully satisfied. When we were got up ; 
*^This is not a matter," said he, "much 
to be admired at, seeing you cannot 
have lived so long, and not have ob- 
served, that all sorts of Cooks, who eat 
less than People of another Calling, 
are neverthless much Fatter. Whence 
proceeds that Plumpness, d'ye think, 
unless it be from the Steams that con- 
tinually environ them, which penetrate 
into their Bodies and fatten them? 
Hence it is, that the People of this 
World enjoy a more stead}^ and vigor- 
ous Health, by reason that their Food 
hardly engenders any Excrements, 
which are in a manner the original ^ of 
all Diseases. You were, perhaps, sur- 
prised, that before supper, you were 

^ Origin. Cf. pp. 137, 170, 174 ; and cf. Shaks- 
pere, Henry IV.y Part II. : 

" It hath its original from much grief." 

96 A Voyage to the Moon 

stript, since it is a Custom not practised 
in your Country ; but it is the fashion 
of this, and for this end used, that the 
Animal may be the more transpirable to 
the Fumes. " " Sir, " answered I, '' there 
is a great deal of probability in what 
you say, and I have found somewhat of 
it my self by experience ; but I must 
frankly tell you, That not being able 
to Unbrute my self so soon, I should 
be' glad to feel something that my 
Teeth might fix upon :" He promised I 
should, but not before next Day; "be- 
cause," said he, ''to Eat so soon after 
your meal would breed Crudities." 

After we had discoursed a little 
longer, we went up to a Chamber to take 
our rest ; a Man met us on the top of the 
Stairs, who having attentively Eyed us, 
led me into a Closet where the floor was 
strowed with Orange-Flowers Three 
Foot thick, and my Spirit into another 
filled with Gilly-Flowers and Jessa- 
mines : Perceiving me amazed at that 
Magnificence, he told me they were 
the Beds of the Country. In fine, we 

The Manner of Lighting 97 

laid our selves down to rest in our sev- 
eral Cells, and so soon as I had stretched 
my self out upon my Flowers, by the 
light of Thirty large Glow-worms shut 
up in a Crystal, (being the only Candles 
Charon uses,^ ) I perceived the Three or 
Four Boys who had stript me before 
Supper, One tickling my Feet, another 
my Thighs, the Third my Flanks, and 
the Fourth my Arms, and all so deli- 
cately and daintily, that in less than in 
a Minute I was fast asleep. 

Next Morning by Sun-rising my 
Spirit came into my Room and said to 
me, ^* Now I'll be as good as my Word, 
you shall breakfast this Morning more 
solidly that you Supped last Night.'* 
With that I got up, and he led me by 
the Hand to a place at the back of the 

1 " . . . On ne s'attendait guere 
De voir [Charon] en cette affaire!" 

In fact, our translator has made an amusing mis- 
take, for which the printer of the 1661 edition is 
perhaps partly responsible ; in that edition we read : 
*' (Caron ne se sert pas d'autres chandelles),'V 
which should of course be, as in the other editions, 
" Car on . . . ; " " For they use no other candles." 

98 A Voyage to the Moon 

Garden, where one of the Children of 
the House stayed for us, with a Piece in 
his Hand much like to one of our Fire- 
Locks. He asked my Guide if I would 
have a dozen of Larks, because Baboons 
(one of which he took me to be,) loved 
to feed on them? I had hardly an- 
swered. Yes, when the Fowler dis- 
charged a Shot, and Twenty or Thirty 
Larks fell at our Feet ready Roasted. 
This, thought I presently with my self, 
verifies the Proverb in our World, of a 
Country where Larks fall ready Roast- 
ed; without doubt it has been made by 
some Body that came from hence. ** Fall 
too, fall too," said my Spirit, ** don't 
spare ; for they have a knack of min- 
gling a certain Composition with their 
Powder and Shot, which Kills, Plucks, 
Roasts, and Seasons the Fowl all at 
once. " I took up some of them, and eat 
them upon his word; and to say the 
Truth, In all my Life time I never eat 
any thing so delicious. 

Having thus Breakfasted we pre- 
pared to be gone, and with a Thou- 

Paying the Scot 99 

sand odd Faces, which they use when 
they would shew their Love, our Land- 
lord received a Paper from my Spirit. 
I asked him, if it was a Note for the 
Reckoning? He replied. No, that all 
was paid, and that it was a Copy of 
Verses. " How! Verses," said I, " are 
your Inn - Keepers here curious of 
Rhime then?" "It's," said he, ''the 
Money of the Country, and the charge 
we have been at here, hath been com- 
puted to amount to Three Couplets^ or 
Six Verses, which I have given him. I 
did not fear we should out-run the Con- 
stable; for though we should Pamper 
our selves for a whole Week, we could 
not spend a Sonnet^ and I have Four 
about me, besides Two Epigrams^ Two 
Odes^ and an Eclogue,'' 

''Would to God," said I, "it were 
so in our World; for I know a good 
many honest Poets there who are 
ready to Starve, and who might live 
plentifully if that Money would pass 
in Payment." I farther asked him, If 
these Verses would always serve, if one 

loo A Voyage to the Moon 

Transcribed them? He made answer, 
No, and so went on : " When an Author 
has Composed any, he carries them to 
the Mint, where the sworn Poets of the 
Kingdom sit in Court. There these 
versifying Officers essay the pieces ; and 
if they be judged Sterling, they are 
rated not according to their Coyn; 
that's to say, That a Sonnet is not al- 
ways as good as a Sonnet ; but accord- 
ing to the intrinsick value of the piece ; 
so that if any one Starve, he must be 
a Blockhead : For Men of Wit make 
always good Chear. " With Extasie I 
was admiring the judicious Policy of 
that Country, when he proceeded in 
this manner : 

" There are others who keep Publick- 
house after a far different manner: 
When one is about to be gone, they de- 
mand, proportionably to the Charges, 
an Acquittance for the other World; 
and when that is given them, they write 
down in a great Register, which they 
call Doomsday' s B.ook^ much after this 
manner : Item^ The value of so many 

Languages and Manners loi 

Verses, delivered such a Day, to such a 
Person, which he is to pay upon the 
receipt of this Acquittance, out of his 
readiest Cash: And when they find 
themselves in danger of Death, they 
cause these Registers to be Chopt in 
pieces, and swallow them down; be- 
cause they believe, that if they were 
not thus digested, they would be good 
for nothing." 

This Conversation was no hinderance 
to our Journey; for my Four-legged 
Porter jogged on under me, and I rid 
stradling on his Back. I shall not be 
particular in relating to you all the 
Adventures that happened to us on 
our way, till we arrived at length at the 
Town where the King holds his Resi- 


Of the little Spaniard whom he "met 
there ^ and of his quai?it Wit ; of 
Vacuum, Specific Weights^ and sun- 
dry other Philosophical Matters. 

I was no sooner come, but they 
carryed me to the Palace, where the 
Grandees received me with more Mod- 
eration, than the People had done as I 
passed the Streets: But both great 
and small concluded. That without 
doubt I was the Female of the Queen's 
little Animal. My Guide was my In- 
terpreter; and yet he himself under- 
stood not the Riddle, and knew not 
what to make of that little Animal of 
the Queen's ; but we were soon satisfied 
as to that; for the King having some 
time considered me, ordered it to be 
brought, and about half an hour after 
I saw a company of Apes, wearing 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 103 

Ruffs and Breeches, come in, and 
amongst them a little Man almost of 
my own Bnilt, for he went on Two 
Legs; so soon as he perceived me, he 
Accosted me with a Criado de vitestra 
inerced.^ I answered his Greeting 
much in the same Terms. But alas! 
no sooner had they seen us talk togeth- 
er, but they believed their Conjecture 
to be true ; and so, indeed, it seemed ; 
for he of all the By-standers, that past 
the most favourable Judgment upon us, 
protested that our Conversation was a 
Chattering we kept for Joy at our meet- 
ing again. 

That little Man told me, that he 
was an European^ a Native of old Cas- 
tille : ^ That he had found a means 
by the help of Birds ^ to mount up 

1 " Your excellency's servant." 

2 Domingo Gonzales, the hero of Bishop Francis 
Godwin's T/ie Man in the Moone (see p. 4, note), 
who says of himself: "I must acknowledge my 
Stature is so little, as I think no Man living is less." 

3 The engraving opposite, showing how he was 
carried up by his birds, is copied from an old edi- 
tion of The Man in the Moone. The other winged 
figures about him are supposed to represent 

I04 A Voyage to the Moon 

to the World of the Moon, where 
then we were: That falling into the 
Queen's Hands, she had taken him for 
a Monkey, because Fate would have it 
so, That in that Country they cloath 
Apes in a SpanisJi Dress; and that 
upon his arrival, being found in that 
habit, she had made no doubt but he 
was of the same kind. " It could not 
otherwise be," replied I, *'but having 
tried all Fashions of Apparel upon 
them, none were found so Ridiculous, 
and by consequence more becoming a 
kind of Animals which are only enter- 
tained for Pleasure and Diversion." 
'' That shews you little understand the 
Dignity of our Nation," answered he, 
"for whom the Universe breeds Men 
only to be our Slaves, and Nature pro- 
duces nothing but objects of Mirth and 
Laughter." He then intreated me to 
tell him, how I durst be so bold as to 
Scale the Moon with the Machine I told 
him of? I answered, That it was be- 

demons who attacked him when just above "the 
middle region." 

rheVOTAGT, to the'W'bllLD in Hie>fOON. 

The "Little Spaniard's" Trip to the Moon. 

-From a7i Engraving i7i " The Strange Voyage of Domingo 
Go7izales to the World in the Moon,^* 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 105 

cause he had carried away the Birds, 
which I intended to have made use of. 
He smiled at this Raillery ; and about a 
quarter of an hour after, the King 
commanded the Keeper of the Monkeys 
to carry us back. The King's Pleasure 
was punctually obeyed ; at which I was 
very glad, for the satisfaction I had, of 
having a Mate to converse with during 
the solitude of my Brutification. 

One Day my Male (for I was taken 
for the Female) told me, That the 
true reason which had obliged him 
to travel all over the Earth, and at 
length to abandon it for the Moon, was 
that he could not find so much as one 
Country where even Imagination was at 
liberty. " Look ye," said he, "how the 
Wittiest thing you can say, unless you 
wear a Cornered Cap, if it thwart the 
Principles of the Doctors of the Robe, 
you are an Ideot, a Fool, and some- 
thing worse perhaps. I was about to 
have been put into the Inquisition at 
home, for maintaining to the Pedants 
Teeth, That there was a Vacuum^ and 

io6 A Voyage to the Moon 

that I kneV no one matter in the 
World more Ponderous than another." 
I asked him, what probable Arguments 
he had, to confirm so new an Opinion? 
*'To evince that," answered he, "you 
must suppose that there is but one Ele- 
ment ; for though we see Water, Earth, 
Air and Fire distinct, yet are they never 
found to be so perfectly pure but that 
there still remains some Mixture. For 
example. When you behold Fire, it is 
not Fire but Air much extended; the 
Air is but Water much dilated ; Water 
is but liquified Earth, and the Earth it 
self but condensed Water ; and thus if 
you weigh Matter seriously, you'll find 
it is but one, which like an excellent 
Comedian here below acts all Parts, 
in all sorts of Dresses : Otherwise we 
must admit as many Elements as there 
are kinds of Bodies : And if you ask 
me why Fire burns, and Water cools, 
since it is but one and the same matter, 
I answer. That that matter acts by 
Sympathy, according to the Disposition 
it is in at the time when it acts. Fire, 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 107 

which is nothing- but Earth also, more 
dilated than is fit for the constitution 
of Air, strives to change into it self, by 
Sympathy, what ever it meets with: 
Thus the heat of Coals, being the most 
subtile Fire, and most proper to pene- 
trate a Body, at first slides through the 
pores of our Skin ; and because it is a 
new matter that fills us, it makes us 
exhale in Sweat ; that Sweat dilated by 
the Fire is converted to a Steam, and 
becomes Air; that Air being farther 
rarified by the heat of the Antiperista- 
sis, or of the Neighbouring Stars, is 
called Fire, and the Earth abandoned 
by the Cold and Humidity which were 
Ligaments to the whole, falls to the 
ground: Water, on the other hand, 
though it no ways differ from the mat- 
ter of Fire, but in that it is closer, 
burns us not ; because that being dense 
by Sympathy, it closes up the Bodies it 
meets with, and the Cold we feel is no 
more but the effect of our Flesh con- 
tracting^ it self, because of the Vicinity 
of Earth or Water, which constrains it 

io8 A Voyage to the Moon 

to a Resemblance. Hence it is, that 
those who are troubled with a Dropsie 
convert all their nourishment into 
Water; and the Cholerick convert all 
the Blood that is formed in their Liver 
into Choler. 

" It being then supposed, that there 
is but one Element ; it is most certain, 
that all Bodies, according to their sev- 
eral qualities, incline equally towards 
the. Center of the Earth. But you'll 
ask me. Why then does Iron, Metal, 
Earth and Wood, descend more swiftly 
to the Center than a Sponge, if it be not 
that it is full of Air which naturally 
tends upwards? That is not at all 
the Reason, and thus I make it out: 
Though a Rock fall with greater Rapid- 
ity than a Feather, both of them have 
the same inclination for the Journey; 
but a Cannon Bullet, for instance, 
were the Earth pierced through, would 
precipitate with greater haste to the 
Center thereof than a Bladder full of 
Wind ; and the reason is, because that 
mass of Metal is a great deal of Earth 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 109 

contracted into a little space, and that 
Wind a very little Earth in a large 
space: For all the parts of Matter, 
being so closely joined together in the 
Iron, encrease their force by their 
Union ; because being thus compacted, 
they are many that Fight against a few, 
seeing a parcel of Air equal to the Bul- 
let in Bigness is not equal in Quantity. 
'^ Not to insist on a long Deduction of 
Arguments to prove this, tell me in 
good earnest. How a Pike, a Sword or 
a Dagger wounds us? If it be not be- 
cause the Steel, being a matter wherein 
the parts are more continuous and 
more closely knit together than }^our 
Flesh is, whose Pores and Softness 
shew that it contains but very little 
Matter within a great extent of Place ; 
and that the point of the Steel that 
pricks us, being almost an innumerable 
number of Particles of matter against 
a very little Flesh, it forces it to yeild 
to the stronger, in the same manner as 
a Squadron in close order will easily 
break through a more open Battallion ; 

I lo A Voyage to the Moon 

for why does a Bit of red hot Iron 
burn more than a Log of Wood all on 
Fire? Unless it be, that in the Iron 
there is more Fire in a small space, 
seeing it adheres to all the parts of the 
Metal, than in the Wood which being 
very Spongy by consequence contains 
a great deal of Vacuity ; and that Va- 
cuity^ being but a Privation of Being, 
cannot receive the form of Fire. But, 
you'll object^ you suppose a Vacuum^ 
as if 3^ou had proved it, and that's beg- 
ging of the question: Well then I'll 
prove it, and though that difficulty be 
the Sister of the Gordian knot^ yet my 
Arms are strong enough to become its 

"' Let that vulgar Beast, then, who 
does not think it self a Man, had it not 
been told so, answer me if it can : Sup- 
pose now there be but one Matter, as 
I think I have sufficiently proved; 
whence comes it, that according to its 
Appetite it enlarges or contracts its 
self; whence is it, that a piece of Earth 
by being Condensed becomes a Stone? 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 1 1 1 

Is it that the parts of that Stone are 
placed one with another, in such a man- 
ner that wherever that grain of Sand 
is settled, even there, or in the same 
point, another grain of Sand is Lodged? 
That cannot be, no not according to 
their own Principles, seeing there is no 
Penetration of Bodies : But that mat- 
ter must have crowded together, and if 
you will, abridged it self, so that it hath 
filled some place which was empty be- 
forCc To say that it is incomprehensi- 
ble, that there should be a Nothing in 
the World, that we are in part made up 
of Nothing: Why not, pray? Is not 
the whole World wrapt up in Nothing? 
Since you yield me this point, then 
confess ingeniously, that it's as rational 
that the World should have a Nothing 
within it, as Nothing about it. 

" I well perceive you'll put the ques- 
tion to me. Why Water compressed in 
a Vessel by the Frost should break it, if 
it be not to hinder a Vacuity? But I 
answer, That that only happens, be- 
cause the Air overhead, which as well 

112 A Voyage to the Moon 

as Earth and Water tends to the Cen- 
ter, meeting with an erapty Tun by the 
way, takes up his Lodging there : If it 
find the pores of that Vessel, that's to 
say, the ways that lead to that void 
place, too narrow, too long, and too 
crooked, with impatience it breaks 
through and arrives at its Tun. 

" But not to trifle away time, in an- 
swering all their objections, I dare be 
bold to say. That if there were no Va- 
ciiity^ there could be no Motion; or 
else a Penetration of Bodies must be 
admitted; for it would be a little too 
ridiculous to think, that when a Gnat 
pushes back a parcel of Air with its 
Wings, that parcel drives another be- 
fore it, that other another still ; and that 
so the stirring of the little Toe of a 
Flea should raise a bunch upon the 
Back of the Universe. When they are 
at a stand, they have recourse to Rare- 
faction : But in good earnest. How can 
it be vv^hen a Body is rarified, that one 
Particle of the Mass does recede from 
another Particle, without leaving an 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 1 1 3 

empty Space betwixt them; must not 
the two Bodies, which are just sepa- 
rated, have been at the same time in 
the same place of this ; and that so they 
must have all three penetrated each 
other? I expect you'll ask me, why 
through a Reed, a Syringe or a Pump, 
Water is forced to ascend contrary to 
its inclination? To which I answer. 
That that's by violence, and that it is 
not the fear of a Vacuity that turns it 
out of the right way; but that being 
linked to the Air by an imperceptibie 
Chain, it rises when the Air, to which 
it is joined, is rarified. 

*' That's no such knotty Difficulty, 
when one knows the perfect Circle 
and the delicate Concatenation of the 
Elements : For if you attentively con- 
sider the Slime which joines the Earth 
and Water together in Marriage, you'll 
find that it is neither Earth nor Water; 
but the Mediator betwixt these Two 
Enemies. In the same manner, the 
Water and Air reciprocally send a Mist, 
that dives into the Humours of both, to 

114 A Voyage to the Moon 

negotiate a Peace betwixt them; and 
the Air is reconciled to the Fire, by- 
means of an interposing Exhalation 
which Unites them." 

I believe he would have proceeded in 
his Discourse, had they not brought us 
our Victuals; and seeing we were a 
hungry, I stopt my Ears to his dis- 
course, and opened my Stomack to the 
Food they gave us. 

. I remember another time, w^hen we 
were upon our Philosophy, for neither 
of us took pleasure to Discourse of mican 
things: "I am vexed," said he, "to 
see a Wit of your stamp infected with 
the Errors of the Vulgar. You must 
know then, in spight of the Pedantry 
of Aristotle with which your Schools 
in France still ring, That every thing 
is in ever}^ thing; that's to say, for in- 
stance, That in the Water there is Fire, 
in the Fire Water, in the Air Earth, 
and in the Earth Air: Though that 
Opinion makes Scholars open their 
Eyes as big as Sawcers, yet it is easier 
to prove it, than perswade it. For 1 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 1 1 5 

ask them, in the first place, if Water 
does not breed Filth : If they deny it, 
let them dig a Pit, fill it with meer Ele- 
ment,' and to prevent all blind Objec- 
tions let them if they please strain it 
through a Strainer, and I'll oblige my 
self, in case they find no Filth therein 
within a certain time, to drink up all 
the Water they have poured into it* 
But if they find Filth, as I make no 
doubt on't; it is a convincing Argu- 
ment that there is both Salt and Fire 
there. Consequentially now, to find 
Water in Fire ; I take it to be no difii- 
cult Task. For let them chuse Fire, 
even that which is most abstracted from 
Matter, as Comets are, there is a great 
deal in them still ; seeing if that Unctu- 
ous Humour, whereof they are engen- 
dered, being reduced to a Sulphur by 
the heat of the Antiperistasis which 
kindles them, did not find a curb of its 
Violence in the humid Cold that quali- 
fies and resists it, it would spend it self 

^ With the pure element (Lat., rnems) ; i.e., water 
alone unmixed with impurities or other elements. 

1 1 6 A Voyage to the Moon 

in a trice like Lightning. Now that 
there is Air in the Earth, they will not 
deny it ; or otherwise they have never 
heard of the terrible Earth-qnakes, that 
have so often shaken the Mountains of 
Sieily : Besides, the Earth is full of 
Pores, even to the least grains of Sand 
that com[pose] it. Nevertheless no 
Man hath as yet said, that these Hollows 
were filled with Vacuity : It will not 
be taken amiss then, I hope, if the Air 
takes up its quarters there. It remains 
to be proved, that there is Earth in the 
Air ; but I think it scarcely worth my 
pains, seeing you are convinced of it, 
as often as you see such numberless 
Legions of Atomes fall upon your 
heads, as even stiffle Arithmetick. 

" But let us pass from simple to com- 
pound Bodies, they'll furnish me with 
much more frequent Subjects; and to 
demonstrate that all things are in all 
things, not that they change into one 
another, as your Peripateticks Juggle : ' 
for I will maintain to their Teeth, that 

1 Fr.jgazouillent, babble. 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 117 

the Principles mingle, separate, and 
mingle again in such a manner, that 
that hath been made Water by the Wise 
Creator of the World, will always be 
Water; I shall suppose no Maxime, as 
they do, but what I prove. 

" And therefore take a Billet, or any 
other combustible stufE, and set Fire to 
it, they'll say when it is in a Flame, 
That what was Wood is now become 
Fire ; but I maintain the contrary, and 
that there is no more Fire in it, when 
it is all in Flame, than before it was 
kindled; but that which before was hid 
in the Billet, and by the Humidity and 
Cold hindered from acting ; being now 
assisted by the Stranger, hath rallied 
its forces against the Phlegm that 
choaked it, and commanding the Field 
of Battle, that was possessed by its 
Enemy, triumphs over his Jaylor and 
appears without Fetters. Don't you 
see how the Water flees out at the two 
ends of the Billet, hot and smoaking 
from the Fight it was engaged in. 
That flame which you see rise on high 

1 1 8 A Voyage to the Moon 

is the purer Fire, unpestered from the 
Matter, and by consequence the readi- 
est to return home to it self: Never- 
theless it Unites it self by tapering into 
a Pir amide till it rise to a certain 
height, that it may pierce through the 
thick Humidit}^ of the Air which re- 
sists it ; but as mounting it disengaged 
it self by little and little from the vio- 
lent company of its Landlords; so it 
diffuses it self, because then it meets 
with nothing that thwarts its passage, 
which negligence, though, is many 
times the cause of a second Captivity: 
For marching stragglingly, it wanders 
sometimes into a Cloud, and if it meet 
there with a Party of its own sufficient 
to make head against a Vapour, they 
Engage, Grumble, Thunder and Roar, 
and the Death of Innocents is many 
times the effect of the animated Rage 
of those inanimated Things. If, when 
it finds it self pestered among those 
Crudities of the middle Region, it is 
not strong enough to make a defence, 
it yields to its Enemy upon discretion; 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 1 1 9 

which by its weight constrains it to fall 
again to the Earth : And this Wretch/ 
inclosed in a drop of Rain, may per 
haps fall at the Foot of an Oak, whose 
Animal Fire will invite the poor Strag- 
gler to take a Lodging with him ; and 
thus yon have it in the same condition 
again as it was a few Days before. 

'* But let us trace the Fortune of the 
other Elements that composed that Bil- 
let. The Air retreats to its own Quar- 
ters also, though blended with Vapours ; 
because the Fire all in a rage drove 
them briskly out Pell-mell together. 
Now you have it serving the Winds for a 
Tennis-ball, furnishing Breath to Ani- 
mals, filling up the Vacuities that Na- 
ture hath left ; and, it may be also, wrapt 
up in a drop of Dew, suckling the thir- 
sty Leaves of that Tree, whither our 
Fire retreated : The Water driven from 
its Throne by the Flame, being by the 
heat elevated to the Nursery of the Me- 
teors, will distil again in Rain upon our 
Oak, as soon as upon another ; and the 

^ Unfortunate creature (" ce malheureux ") . 

I 20 A Voyage to the Moon 

Earth being turned to Ashes, and then 
cured of its Sterility, either by the nour- 
ishing Heat of a Dunghill on which it 
hath been thrown, or by the vegetative 
Salt of some neighbouring Plants, or by 
the teeming Waters of some Rivers, 
may happen also to be near this Oak, 
w^iich by the heat of its Germ will attract 
it, and convert it into a part of its bulk. 
" In this manner, these Four Elements 
undergo the same Destiny, and return 
to the same State, which they quitted 
but a few days before : So that it may 
be said, that all that's necessary for the 
composition of a Tree, is in a Man ; and 
in a Tree, all that's necessary for mak- 
ing of a Man. In fine, according to 
this way, all things will be found in all 
things; but we want a PrometJieits^ to 
pluck us out of the Bosom of Nature, 
and render us sensible, which I am will- 
ing to call the First Matter. " ^ 

1 The translator has here mistaken a Dative for 
an Accusative. The sense of the French is: '' But 
we need a Prometheus to pluck out for us. from the 
bosom of Nature, and make tangible to us. that 
which I will call First Matter. 

Of the Spaniard, Etc 121 

These were the things, I think, with 
which we past the time ; for that little 
Spaniard had a quaint Wit. Our con- 
versation, how^ever, was only in the 
Nighttime; because from Six a clock 
in the morning until night, Crowds of 
the People, that came to stare at us in 
our Lodging, would have disturbed us: 
For some threw" us Stones, others Nuts, 
and others Grass; there was no talk, 
but of the Kings Beasts ; we had our 
Victuals daily at set hours. I cannot 
tell, whether it was that I minded their 
Gestures and Tones more than my Male 
did: But I learnt sooner than he to un- 
derstand their Language, and to smatter 
a little of it, which made us to be lookt 
upon in another guess manner than 
formerly ; and the news thereupon flew 
presently all over the Kingdom, that 
two Wild Men had been found, who 
were less than other Men, by reason of 
the bad Food we had had in the Des- 
arts ; and who through a defect of their 
Parents Seed, had not the fore Legs 
strong enough to support their Bodies. 


Where the Author coines in doubt ^ 
whether he be a Man, an Ape, or an 
Estridge ; ^ and of the Opinion of the 
Lunar Philosophers concerning Aris- 

This belief would have taken rooting- 
by being spread, had it not been for 
the Learned Men of the Country, who 
opposed it, saying, That it was horrid 
Impiety to believe not only Beasts, 
but Monsters, to be of their kind. It 
would be far more probable, (added the 
calmer Sort) that our Domestick Beasts 
should participate of the privilege of 
Humanity and by consequence of Im- 
mortality, as being bred in our Coun- 
try, than a Monstrous Beast that talks 
of being born I know not where, in the 
Moon; and then observe the difference 

1 Ostrich. 

The Author in Doubt 123 

betwixt us and them. We walk upon 
Four Feet, because God would not trust 
so precious a thing upon weaker Sup- 
porters, and he was afraid least march- 
ing otherwise some Mischance might 
befall Man ; and therefore he took the 
pains to rest him upon four Pillars, 
that he might not fall, but disdaining 
to have a hand in the Fabrick of these 
two Brutes, he left them to the Caprice 
of Nature, who not concerning her self 
with the loss of so small a matter, sup- 
ported them only by Two Feet. 

" Birds themselves," said they, ''have 
not had so hard measure as they; for 
they have got Feathers at least, to sup- 
ply the weakness of their Legs, and to 
cast themselves in the Air when we 
pursue them ; whereas Nature, depriv- 
ing these Monsters of Two Legs, hath 
disabled them from scaping our Justice. 

'^ Besides, consider a little how' they 
have the Head raised tow^ard Heaven; 
it is because God w^ould punish them 
with scarcity of all things, that he hath 
so placed them ; for that supplicant 

I 24 A Voyage to the Moon 

Posture shews that they complain to 
Heaven of him that Created them, and 
that they beg Permission to make their 
best of our Leavings. But we, on the 
contrary, have the Head bending down- 
wards, to behold the Blessings where- 
of we are the Masters, and as if there 
were nothing in Heaven that our happy 
condition needed Envy." 

I heard such Discourses, or the like, 
daily at my Lodge ; and at length they 
so curbed the minds of the people as 
to that point, that it was decreed. That 
at best I should only pass for a Parrot 
without Feathers; for they confirmed 
those who w^ere already perswaded, in 
that I had but two Legs no more than 
a Bird, w^hich was the cause that I w^as 
put into a Cage by express orders from 
the Privy Council. 

There the Qtieen's Bird-keeper tak- 
ing the pains daily to teach me to Whis- 
tle, as they do Stares ^ or Singing-Birds 
here, I was really happy in that I 
wanted not Food : In the mean while, 

1 starlings. 

The Author in Doubt 1 2 


with the Sonnets ^ the Spectators 
stunned me [with], I learnt to speak as 
they did; so that when I was got to be 
so much Master of the Idiom as to ex- 
press most of my thoughts, I told them 
the finest of my Conceits. The Quaint- 
ness of m}' Sayings was already the 
entertainment of all Societies, and my 
Wit was so much esteemed that the 
Council was obliged to Publish an 
Edict, forbidding all People to believe 
that I was endowed with Reason; with 
express Commands to all Persons, of 
what Quality or Condition soever, not 
to imagine but that whatever I did, 
though never so w^ittily, proceeded 
only from Instinct. 

Nevertheless, the decision of what I 
was, divided the Town into Two Fac- 
tions. The party that stood for me 
encreased daily ; and at length in spight 
of the AnatJiema^ whereby they en- 
deavoured to scare the multitude : 
They who held for me, demanded a 
Convention of the States, for determin- 

1 Fr., '' somettes," nonsense. 

126 A Voyage to the Moon 

ing that Controversie. It was long be- 
fore they could agree in the Choice of 
those who should have a Vote ; but the 
Arbitrators pacified the heat, by mak- 
ing the number of both parties equal, 
who ordered that I should be brought 
unto the Assembly, as I was: But I 
was treated there with all imaginable 
Severity. My Examiners, amongst 
other things, put questions of Philoso- 
phy to me; I ingenuously told them 
all that my Tutor had heretofore taught 
me, but they easily refuted me by more 
convincing Arguments: So that hav- 
ing nothing to answer for my self, my 
last refuge was to Principles of Arts- 
totle, which stood me in as little stead, 
as his Sophisms did ; for in two Words, 
they let me see the falsity of them. 

^'That same Aristotle,'^ said they, 
*^ whose Learning you brag so much of, 
did without doubt accommodate Prin- 
ciples to his Philosophy ; ^ instead of ac- 
coramodating his Philosophy to Princi- 
ples; and besides he ought to have 
1 Wrest the facts to fit his theories. 

The Author an Estridge i 27 

proved them at least to be more rational 
than those of the other Sects you men- 
tioned to us : Wherefore the good Man 
will not take it ill, we hope, if we bid 
him God b'w'." 

In fine, when they perceived that 
I did nothing but bawl, that they were 
not more knowing than Aristotle^ and 
that I was forbid to dispute against 
those who denied his Principles : They 
all unanimously concluded, That I was 
not a Man, but perhaps a kind of 
Estridge ^^ seeing I carried my Head 
upright like themi, that I walked on two 
Legs, and that, in short, but for a little 
Down, I was every way like one of them ; 
so that the Bird-keeper was ordered to 
have me back to my Cage. I spent my 
time pretty pleasantly there, for be- 
cause I had correctly learned their 
Language, the whole Court took pleas- 
ure to make me prattle. The Queen's 
Maids, among the rest, slipt ■ always 
some Boon into my Basket, and the 
gentilest of them all, having conceived 

1 Ostrich. 

128 A Voyage to the Moon 

some kindness for me, was- so trans- 
ported with Joy, when in private I en- 
tertained her with the manners and 
divertisements of the People of our 
World, and especially our Bells, and 
other Instruments of Musick, that she 
protested to me, with Tears in her 
Eyes, That if ever I found my self in a 
condition to fly back again to our 
World, she would follow me with all 
her. Heart. 


Of the Manner of making War in the 
Moon ; and of how the Moon is not the 
Moo7i^ nor the Earth the Earth. 

One Morning early, having started 
out of my Sleep, I found her Taboring^ 
upon the grates of my Cage : " Take 
good heart," said she to me, ^' yesterday 
in Council a War was resolved upon, 

against the King — _ — ,■ — ^ I hope 

that during the hurry of Preparations, 
whilst our Monarch and his Subjects 
are absent, I may find an occasion to 
make your escape." ^' How, a War," 

1 Drumming, striking; cf. Nahum ii. 7: "And 
her maids shall lead her as with the voice -of doves, 
tabouring upon their breasts." 

2 Cyrano writes all proper names by musical nota- 
tion, in imitation of the language of the moon as 
he has described it. 


130 A Voyage to the Moon 

said I interrupting her, "have the 
Princes of this World, then, any quar- 
rels amongst themselves, as those of 
ours have? Good now, let me know 
their way of Fighting." 

'' When the Arbitrators," replied she, 
" who are freely chosen by the two Par- 
ties, have appointed the time for rais- 
ing Forces for their March, the number 
of Combatants, the day and place of 
Battle, and all with so great equality, 
that there is not one Man more in one 
Army, than in the other: All the 
maimed Soldiers on the one side, are 
lifted in one Company ; and when they 
come to engage, the Mareshalls de 
Camp ^ take care to expose them to the 
maimed of the other side : The Giants 
are matched with Colosses, the Fencers 
with those that can handle their Weap- 
ons, the Valiant with the Stout, the 
Weak with the Infirm, the Sick with 

1 Possibly " field officers" here; in exact ranking, 
the Marechal de Camp stands between Colonel and 
Lieutenant-G6neral, and corresponds to Brigadier- 

Of Making War 131 

the Indisposed, the Sturdy with the 
Strong ; and if any undertake to strike 
at another than the Enemy he is 
matched with, unless he can make it 
out that it was by mistake, he is Con- 
demned for a Coward. When the Bat- 
tle is over, they take an account of the 
Wounded, the Dead and the Prisoners, 
for Run-aways they have none ; and if 
the loss be equal on both sides, they 
draw Cuts, who shall be Proclaimed 

" But though a Kingdom hath de- 
feated the Enemy in open War, yet 
there is hardly any thing got by it ; for 
there are other smaller Armies of 
Learned and Witty Men, on whose 
Disputations the Triumph or Servitude 
of States wholly depends. 

" One Learned Man grapples with 
another, one Wit with another, and one 
Judicious Man with another Judicious 
Man : Now the Triumph which a State 
gains in this manner is reckoned as good 
as three Victories by open force. After 
the Proclamation of Victory, the Assem- 

132 A Voyage to the Moon 

bly is broken up, and the Victorious 
People either chuse the Enemies King 
to be theirs, or confirm their own." 

I could not forbear to Laugh at this 
scrupulous way of giving Battle ; and 
for an Example of much stronger Poli- 
ticks, I alledged the Customs of our 
Europe^ where the Monarch would be 
sure not to let slip any favourable occa- 
sion of gaining the day ; but mind what 
she said as to that. 

'' Tell me, pray, if your Princes use 
not a pretext of Right, when they levy 
Arms:" ''No doubt," answered I, 
'' and of the Justice of their Cause too. " 
" Why then," replied she, *' do they not 
chuse Impartial and Unsuspected Arbi- 
trators to compose their Differences? 
And if it be found, that the one has as 
much Right as the other, let things 
continue as they were ; or let them play 
a game at Picket^ for the Town or Prov- 
ince that's in dispute." 

"But why all these Circumstances," 
replied I, ''in your way of Fighting? 
Is it not enough, that both Armies are 

Of Making War 133 

equal in the number of Men? " " Your 
Judgment is Weak," answered she. 
" Would you think in Conscience, that 
if you had the better of your Enemy, 
Hand to Hand, in an open Field, you 
had fairly overcome him, if you had 
had on a Coat of Mail, and he none; if 
he had had but a Dagger, and you a 
Tuck^; and in a Word, if he had had 
but one Arm, and you both yours? 
Nevertheless, what Equality soever 
you may recommend to your Gladia- 
tors, they never fight on even terms; 
for the one will be a tall Man, and the 
other Short ; the one skilful at his weap- 
on, and the other a Man that never 
handled a Sword; the one will be 
strong, and the other Weak: And 
though these Disproportions were not, 
but that the one were as skillful and 
strong as the other ; yet still they 
might not be rightly matched ; for one, 
perhaps, may have more Courage than 
the other, who being rash and hot- 

1 Fencing sword. Cf. Shakspere, Hamlet: 
" If he by chance escape your venomed tuck." 

134 A Voyage to the Moon 

headed, inconcerned in danger, as not 
foreseeing it; of a bilious Temper, a 
more contracted Heart, with all the 
qualities that constitute Courage, (as if 
that, as well as a Sword, were not a 
Weapon which his Adversary hath 
not : ) He makes nothing of falling 
desperately upon, terrifying, and kill- 
ing this poor Man, who foresees the 
danger; who has his Heat choked in 
Phlegme, and a Heart too wide to close 
in the Spirits in such a posture as is 
necessary for thawing that Ice which is 
called Cowardise. And now you praise 
that Man, for having killed his Enemy 
at odds, and praising him for his Bold- 
ness you praise him for a Sin against 
nature ; seeing such Boldness tends to 
its destruction. And this puts me in 
mind to tell ye, that some Years ago 
application was made to the Council of 
War for a more circumspect and con- 
scientious Rule to be made, as to the 
way of Fighting. The Philosopher 
who gave the advice, if I mistake it 
not, spake in this manner. 

Of Making War 135 

" ' Yon imagine, Gentlemen, that yon 
have very eqnally balanced the advan- 
tages of two Enemies, when yon have 
chosen both Tall Men, both skillful, 
and both conragions: Ent that's not 
enough, seeing after all the Conquerour 
must have the better on't either through 
his Skill, Strength, or good Fortune. 
If it be by Skill, without doubt he hath 
taken his Adversary on the blind side, 
which he did not expect ; or struck him 
sooner than was likely, or faining to 
make his Pass on one side, he hath at- 
tacked him on the other: Neverthe- 
less all this is Cunning, Cheating, and 
Treachery, and none of these make a 
brave Man: If he hath triumphed by 
Force, would you judge his Enemy 
over-come, because he hath been over- 
powered? No; doubtless, no more 
than you'll say that a Man hath lost 
the Victory, when, over-whelm'd by a 
Mountain, it was not in his power to 
gain it: Even so, the other was not 
overcome, because he was not in a suit- 
able Disposition, at that nick of time, 

136 A Voyage to the Moon 

to resist the violences of his Adversary. 
If Chance hath given him the better 
of his Enemy, Fortune ought then to 
be Crowned, since he hath contributed 
nothing to it; and, in fine, the van- 
quished is no more to be blamed, than 
he who at Dice having thrown Seven- 
teen, is beat by another that throws 
three Sixes. ' 

'' They confessed he was in the right ; 
but that it was impossible, according to 
humane Appearances, to remedy it ; and 
that it was better to submit to a small 
inconvenience, than to open a door to a 
hundred of greater Importance." 

She entertained me no longer at that 
time, because she was afraid to be 
found alone with me so early; not that 
Impudicity is a Crime in that Country : 
On the contrary, except Malefactors 
Convicted, all Men have power over all 
Women; and in the same manner, a 
Woman may bring her Action against 
a Man for refusing her: But she durst 
not keep me company publickly, be- 
cause the Members of Council, at their 

Moon Not the Moon 137 

last meeting-, had said, That it was 
chiefly the Women who gave it out that 
I was a Man ; which was the reason that 
for a long time I neither saw her, nor 
any other of her Sex. 

In the mean time, some must needs 
have revived the Disputes about the 
Definition of my Being ; for whilst I 
was thinking of nothing else but of 
dying in my Cage, I was once more 
brought out to have another Audience. 
I was then questioned^ in presence of a 
great many Courtiers, upon some points 
of Natural Philosophy; and, as I take 
it, my Answers gave some kind of Sat- 
isfaction ; for the President declared to 
me at large his thoughts concerning the 
structure of the World. They seemed 
to me ver}^ ingenious; and had he not 
traced it to its Original, ^ which he main- 
tained to be Eternal, I should have 
thought his Philosophy ^ more rational 
than our own : But as soon as I heard 
him maintain a Foppery^ so contrary to 

1 Cf. p. 95. n. I. 

' Folly, foolishness, ridiculous belief. Cf, Shak- 

138 A Voyage to the Moon 

our Faith, I broke with him ; at which 
he did but laugh ; and that obliged me 
to tell him, That since they were there- 
abouts with it, I began again to think 
that their World was but a Moon. 

But then all cried, ^' Don't you see 
here Earth, Rivers, Seas? what's all 
that then?" ^' No matter," said I, 
''Aristotle assures us it is but a Moon; 
and if you had said the contrary in the 
Schools, where I have been bred, 3'ou 
would have been hissed at." At this 
the}^ all burst out in laughter; you 
need not ask, if it was their Ignor- 
ance that made them do so ; for in the 
mean time I was carried back to my 

But some more passionate Doctors, 
being informed that I had the boldness 
to affirm, That the Moon, from whence 
I came, was a World ; and that their 
World was no more but a Moon, 
thought it might give them a very just 
pretext to have me condemned to the 

spere, Me.rrv Wives of Wijidsor: "... drove tha 
grossness ot \he foppery into a received belief.** 

Moon Not the Moon 139 

Water, for that's their way of rooting 
out Hereticks. For that end, they 
went in a Body, and complained to the 
King, who promised them Justice ; and 
order'd me once more to be brought to 
the Bar. 

Xow was I the third time Un-caged ; 
and then the most Ancient spoke, and 
pleaded against me. I do not well re- 
member his Speech ; because I was too 
much frighted to receive the tones of 
his Voice without disorder; and be- 
cause also in declaiming, he made use 
of an Instrument which stunn'd me 
w4th its noise : It was a Speaking- 
Trumpet, which he had chosen on pur- 
pose that by its Martial Sound he might 
rouse them, to my death; and by that 
Emotion of their Spirits, hinder Rea- 
son from performing its Office : As it 
happens in our Armies, where the noise 
of Drums and Trumpets hinders the 
Souldiers from minding the importance 
of their Lives. 

When he had done, I rose up to de- 
fend my Cause ; but I was excused from 

140 A Voyage to the Moon 

it, by an Accident that will surprize 
you. Just as I had opened my Mouth, 
a Man, who with much ado had pressed 
through the Crowd, fell at the King's 
Feet, and a long while rouled himself 
upon his Back in his presence. This 
practice did not at all surprize m^e, be- 
cause I knew it to be the posture they 
put themselves into, when they have a 
mind to be heard in publick : I only stopt 
my own Harangue, and gave Ear to his. 
"Just Judges," said he, "listen to 
me; you cannot Condemn that Man, 
that Monkey or Parrot, for saying, 
That the Moon from whence he comes 
is a World ; for if he be a Man, though 
he were not come from the Moon, since 
all Men are free, is not he free also to 
imagine what he pleases? How can 
you constrain him not to have Visions, 
as well as you? You may very well 
force him to say. That the Moon is not 
a World, but he will not believe it for 
all that ; for to believe a thing, some pos- 
sibilities enclining more to the Yea than 
to the Nav, must offer to ones Imagina- 

Earth Not the Earth 141 

tion : And unless you furnish him with 
that Probability, or his own mind hit 
upon it, he may very well tell you that 
he believes, but still remain an Infidel. * 

** I am now to prove, that he ought 
not to be condemned if you lift him in 
the Catalogue of Beasts. 

" For suppose him to be an Animal 
without Reason, would it be rational in 
you to Condemn him for offending 
against it? He hath said, that the 
Moon is a World. Now Beasts act only 
by the instinct of Nature : it is Nature 
then that says so, and not he : To think 
that wise Nature, who hath made the 
World and the Moon, knows not her 
self what it is ; and that ye who have 
no more Knowledge but what ye derive 
from her, should more certainly know 
it, would be very Ridiculous. But if 
Passion should make you renounce 
your Principles, and you should suppose 
that Nature does not guide Beasts; 

1 Cf. the saying attributed to Galileo immediately 
after his public recantation (June 22, 1633) : " E pur 
si muove " — " yet it does move." 

142 A Voyage to the Moon 

blush, at least, to think on't, that the 
Caprices of a Beast should so discom- 
pose you. 

'' Really, Gentlemen, should you 
meet with a Man come to the Years of 
Discretion, who made it his business to 
inspect the Government of Pis vr res, 
giving a blow to one that had over- 
thrown its Companion, imprisoning 
another that had robb'd its Neighbour 
of a grain of Corn, and inditing a third 
for leaving its Eggs; would you not 
think him a mad Man, to be employed 
in things so far below him, and to pre- 
tend to give Laws to Animals, that 
never had Reason? How will you then, 
most Venerable Assembly, jUvStifie your 
selves for being so concerned at the 
Caprices of that little Animal? Just 
Judges, I have no more to say." 

When he had made an end, all the 
Hall rung again with a kind of Musical 
Applause; and after all the Opinions 
had been canvased, during the space 
of a large quarter of an hour, the King 
gave Sentence: 

Earth Not the Earth 143 

That for the future, I should be re- 
puted to be a Man, accordingly set at 
liberty, and that the Punishment of 
being Drowned, should be converted 
into a publick Disgrace (the most hon- 
ourable way of satisfying the Law in 
that Country) whereby I should be 
obliged to retract openly what I had 
maintained in saying. That the Moon 
was a World, because of the Scandal 
that the novelty of that opinion might 
give to weak Brethren. 

This Sentence being pronounced, I 
was taken away out of the Palace, richly 
Cloathed ; but in derision, carried in a 
magnificent Chariot, as on a Tribunal, 
which four Princes in Harness drew; 
and in all the publick places of the 
Town, I was forced to make this Dec- 
laration : 

" Good People, I declare to you, That 
this Moon here is not a Moon, but a 
World; and that that World below is 
not a World, but a Moon: This the 
Council thinks fit you should believe.'* 


Of a Philosophical Entertainment, 

After I had Proclaimed this, in the 
five great places of the Town, my Ad- 
vocate came and reached me his Hand 
to • help me down. I was in great 
amaze, when after I had Eyed him I 
found him to be my Spirit ; we were an 
hour in embracing one another : " Come 
lodge with me," said he, "for if yon re- 
turn to Court, after a Publick Disgrace, 
you will not be well lookt upon : Nay 
more, I must tell you, that you would 
have been still amongst the Apes yon- 
der, as well as the Spaniard your Com- 
panion, if I had not in all Companies 
published the vigour and force of your 
Wit, and gained from your Enemies 
the protection of the great Men in your 
favours." I ceased not to thank him all 
the way, till we came to his Lodgings ; 

Philosophical Entertainment 145 

there he entertained me till Supper- 
time with all the Engines he had set 
a work to prevail with my Enemies, 
notwithstanding the most specious 
pretexts they had used for riding the 
Mobile/ to desist from so unjust a Pros- 
ecution. But as they came to acquaint 
us that Supper was upon the Table, he 
told me that to bear me company that 
evening he had invited Two Professors 
of the University of the Town to Sup 
with him: "I'll make them," said he, 
'' fall upon the Philosophy which they 
teach in this World, and by that means 
you shall see my Landlord's Son : He's 
as Witty a Youth as ever I met with ; 
he would prove another Socrates^ if he 
could use his Parts aright, and not 
bury in Vice the Graces wherewith God 
continually visits him, by affecting a 
Libertinism/ as he does, out of a Chi- 

1 The people, the populace. Cf. pp. 74 and 168. 

2 '' Libertinism " in seventeenth-century English 
is like the French libertinage, applied rather to 
licentiousness of opinion than of practice; so here 
it means rather '' free thought " than free living. 

146 A Voyage to the Moon 

merical Ostentation and Affectation of 
the name of a Wit. I have taken 
Lodgings here, that I may lay hold on 
all Opportunities of Instructing him:" 
He said no more, that he mig-ht sfive me 
the Liberty to speak, if I had a mind 
to it ; and then made a sign, that they 
should strip me of my disgraceful 
Ornaments, in which I still glistered. 

The Two Professors, whom we ex- 
pected, entered just as I was undrest, 
and we w^ent to sit down to Table, 
where the Cloth was laid, and where 
we found the Youth he had mentioned 
to me, fallen to already. They made 
him a low Reverence, and treated him 
with as much respect as a Slave does 
his Lord. I asked my Spirit the reason 
of that, who made me answer, that it 
was because of his Age ; seeing in that 
World, the Aged rendered all kind of 
Respect and Difference ^ to the Young; 
and which is far more, that the Parents 
obeyed their Children, so soon as by 
the Judgment of the Senate of Philos- 

1 Deference. 

Why Parents Obey Children 147 

ophers they had attained to the Years 
of Discretion.^ 

"Yon are amazed," continued he, 
" at a Custom so contrary to that of 
your Country ; but it is not all repug- 
nant to Reason : For say, in your Con- 
science, \Yhen a brisk young Man is at 
his Prime in Imagining, Judging, and 
Acting, is not he fitter to govern a 
Family than a Decrepit piece of Three- 
score Years, dull and doting, whose 
Imagination is frozen under the Snow 
of Sixty Winters, who follows no other 
Guide but what you call the Experience 
of happy Successes; which yet are no 
more but the bare effects of Chance, 
against all the Rules and Oeconomy of 
humane Prudence? And as for Judg- 
ment, he hath but little of that neither, 
though the people of your World make 
it the Portion of Old Age: But to un- 
deceive them, they must know. That 
that which is called Prudence in an Old 
Man is no more but a panick Appre- 
hension, and a mad Fear of acting any 

1 Cf. Gulliver's Voyage to Liiliput, chap. vi. 

148 A Voyage to the Moon 

thing where there is danger: So that 
when he does not run a Risk, wherein 
a Young Man hath lost himself; it is 
not that he foresaw the Catastrophe, 
but because he had not Fire enough to 
kindle those noble Flashes, which make 
us dare: Whereas the Boldness of 
that Young Man was as a pledge of 
the good Success of his design ; because 
the same Ardour that speeds and facil- 
itates the execution, thrust him upon 
the undertaking. 

"As for Execution, I should wrong 
your Judgment if I endeavoured to 
convince it by proofs : You know that 
Youth alone is proper for Action ; and 
were you not fully perswaded of this, 
tell me, pray, when you respect a Man 
of Courage, is it not because he can re- 
venge you on your Enemies or Oppres- 
sors? And does any thing, but meer 
Habit, make you consider ^ him, when a 
Battalion of Seventy y^;^?/<3;rj^ hath fro- 
zen his Blood and chilled all the noble 
Heats that youth is warmed with? 

^ Respect. 

Why Parents Obey Children 149 

When yon yeild to the Stronger, is it 
not that he should be obliged to yon for 
a Victory which yon cannot Dispnte 
him? Why then shonld yon submit to 
him, when Laziness hath softened his 
Muscles, weakened his Arteries, evapo- 
rated his Spirits, and suckt the Marrow 
out of his Bones? If you adore a 
Woman, is it not because of her Beauty? 
Why should you then continue your 
Cringes, when Old Age hath made her 
a Ghost, which only represents a hide- 
ous Picture of Death? In short, when 
you loved a Witty Man, it was because 
by the Quickness of his Apprehension 
he unravelled an intricate Affair, sea- 
soned the choicest Companies with his 
quaint Sayings, and sounded the depth 
of Sciences with a single Thought ; and 
do you still honour him, when his worn 
Organs disappoint his weak Noddle, 
when he is become dull and uneasy in 
Company, and when he looks like an 
aged Fairy ^ rather than a rational Man? 

1 Fr., Dieu Foyer, The change seems to be an in- 
teresting embroidery of the translator's fancy, 

150 A Voyage to the Moon 

" Conclude then from thence, Son, 
that it is fitter Young Men should gov- 
ern Families, than Old ; and the rather, 
that according to your own Principles, 
JHcrcules^ Achilles^ Epaniinondas^ Alex- 
ander^ and Ccesar, of whom most part 
died under Fourty Years of Age, could 
have merited no Honours, as being too 
Y^oung in your account, though their 
Youth w^as the only cause of their Fa- 
mous Actions ; which a more advanced 
Age would have rendered ineffectual, 
as wanting that Heat and Promptitude 
that rendered them so highly success- 
ful. But you'll tell me, that all the 
Laws of your World do carefully enjoin 
the Respect that is due to Old Men : 
That's true; but it is as true also, that 
all who made Laws have been Old Men, 
who feared that Youno- Men misfht 
justly have dispossessed them of the 
Authority they had usurped. 

" Y^ou owe nothing to your mortal 
Architector, but your Body only ; your 

since he has correctly translated the words as 
''Household God'' on p. 76. 

Why Parents Obev Children 151 

Soul comes from Heaven, and Chance 
might have made your Father your 
Son, as now you are his. Xay, are 
you sure he hath not hindered you from 
Inheriting a Crown? Your Spirit left 
Heaven, perhaps with a design to ani- 
mate the King of the Romans, in the 
Womb of the Empress ; it casually en- 
countered the Embryo of you by the 
way, and it may be to shorten its jour- 
ney, went and lodged there : Xo, no, 
God would never have razed your name 
out of the List of Mankind, though 
your Father had died a Child. But 
who knows, whether you might not 
have been at this day the work of some 
valiant Captain, that would have asso- 
ciated you to his Glory, as well as to 
his Estate. So that, perhaps, you are 
no more indebted to your Father for 
the life he hath given you, than you 
would be to a Pirate who had put you 
in Chains, because he feeds you: Nay, 
grant he had begot you a Prince, or 
King; a Present loses its merit, when 
it is made without the Option of him 

152 A Voyage to the Moon 

who receives it. Ccesar was killed, and 
so was Cassiiis too : In the mean time 
Cassius was obliged to the Slave, from 
whom he begg'd his Death, but so was 
not Ccesar to his Murderers, who forced 
it upon him. Did your Father consult 
your Will and Pleasure, when he Em- 
braced your Mother? Did he ask you, 
if you thought fit to see that Age, or to 
wait for another ; if you would be satis- 
fied to be the Son of a Sot, or if you 
had the Ambition to spring from a 
Brave Man? Alas, you whom alone the 
business concerned, were the only Per- 
son not consulted in the case. May be 
then, had you been shut up any where 
else, than in the Womb of Nature's 
Ideas, and had your Birth been in your 
own Opinion, you would have said to 
the Parca^ my dear Lady, take another 
Spindle in your Hand: I have lain 
very long in the Bed of Nothing, and I 
had rather continue an Hundred years 
still without a Being, than to Be to day, 
that I may repent of it to morrow: 
However, Be you must, it was to no 

Why Parents Obey Children 153 

purpose for you to whimper and squall 
to be taken back again to the long and 
darksome House they drew you out of, 
they made as if they believed you 
cryed for the Teat. 

"These are the Reasons, at least 
some of them, my Son, why Parents 
bear so much respect to their Children : 
I know very well that I have inclined 
to the Childrens side more than in jus- 
tice I ought; and that in favour of 
them, I have spoken a little against my 
Conscience. But since I was willing 
to repress the Pride of some Parents, 
who insult over the weakness of their 
little Ones ; I have been forced to do as 
they do w^ho to make a crooked Tree 
streight bend it to the contrary side, 
that betwixt two Conversions it may 
become even: Thus I have made Fa- 
thers restore to their Children w^hat 
they have taken from them, by taking 
from them a great deal that belonged 
to them ; that so another time they may 
be content with their own. I know 
very well also that by this Apology I 

154 A Voyage to the Moon 

have offended all Old men: But let 
them remember, that they were Chil- 
dren before they were Fathers, and 
Young before they were Old ; and that 
I must needs have spoken a great deal 
to their advantage, seeing they were 
not found in a Parsley-bed : ' But, in 
fine, fall back, fall edge, though my 
Enemies draw up against my Friends, 
it will go well enough still with me ; for 
I have obliged all men, and only dis- 
obliged but one half." 

With that he held his tongue, and our 
Landlord's Son spoke in this manner: 
"Give me leave," said he to him, 
" since by your care I am informed of the 
Original, History, Customs, and Philos- 
ophy, of the World of this little Man ; 
to add something to what you have said ; 
and to prove that Children are not 

1 Fr., *' sous une pomme de chou" — under a cab- 
bage-head; where, as too curious children are some- 
times told in France, the babies are found. The 
English expression is exactly equivalent. Cf. 
Locke: '* Sempronia dug Titus out of the parsley- 
bed, as they used to tell children, and so became 
his mother." 

Why Parents Obey Children 155 

obliged to Parents for their Generation, 
because their Parents were obliged in 
Conscience to procreate them. 

*'The strictest Philosophy of their 
World acknowledges that it is better to 
dye, since to dye one must have lived, 
than not to have had a Being. Now 
seeing, by not giving a Being to that 
Nothing, I leave it in a state worse 
than Death, I am more guilty in not 
producing, than in killing it. In the 
mean time, my little Man, thou wouldst 
think thou hadst committed an unpar- 
donable Parracide, shouldst thou have 
cut thy Sons throat : It would indeed 
be an enormous Crime, but it is far 
more execrable, not to give a Being to 
that which is capable of receiving it : 
For that Child whom thou deprivest of 
life for ever, hath had the satisfaction 
of having enjoyed it for some time. 
Besides, we know that it is but de- 
prived of it, but for some age's; but 
these forty poor little Nothings, which 
thou mightest have made forty good 
Souldiers for the King, thou art so ma- 

156 A Voyage to the Moon 

licious as to deny them Life, and lettest 
them corrupt in thy Reins, to the danger 
of an Appoplexy, which will stifle thee. " 

This Philosophy did not at all please 
me, which made me three or four times 
shake my head; but our Preceptor held 
his tongue, because Supper was mad to 
be gone. 

We laid our selves along, then, upon 
very soft Quilts, covered with large 
Carpets ; and a young man that waited 
on us, taking the oldest of our Philoso- 
phers, led him into a little parlour 
apart, where my Spirit called to him to 
come back to us as soon as he had 

This humour of eating separately, 
gave me the curiosity of asking the 
Cause of it: "He'll not relish," said 
he, "the steam of Meat, nor yet of 
Herbs, unless they die of themselves, 
because he thinks they are sensible of 
Pain." "I w^onder not so much," re- 
plied I, " that he abstains from Flesh, 
and all things that have had a sensitive 
Life : For in our World the Pythago- 

The Soul of Plants i ^j 

reans^ and even some holy Anchorites^ 
have followed that Rule; but not to 
dare, for instance, cut a Cabbage, for 
fear of hurting it; that seems to me 
altogether ridiculous." "And for my 
part," answered my Spirit, "I find a 
great deal of probability in his Opinion. 

" For tell me. Is not that Cabbage 
you speak of, a Being existent in Na- 
ture, as well as you? Is not she the 
common Mother of you both? Yet the 
Opinion that Nature is kinder to Man- 
kind, than to Cabbage-kind, tickles and 
makes us laugh : But seeing she is in- 
capable of Passion, she can neither love 
nor hate any thing; and were she sus- 
ceptible of Love, she would rather be- 
stow her affection upon this Cabbage, 
which you grant cannot offend her, 
than upon that Man who would destroy 
her, if it lay in his power. 

" And moreover, Man cannot be born 
Innocent, being a Part of the first 
Offendor: But we know very well, 
that the first Cabbage did not offend its 
Creator. If it be said, that we are 

158 A Voyage to the Moon 

made after the Image of the Supreme 
Being, and so is not the Cabbage; 
grant that to be true ; yet by polluting 
our Soul, wherein we resembled Him, 
we have effaced that Likeness, seeing 
nothing is more contrary to God than 
Sin. If then our Soul be no longer his 
Image, we resemble him no more in our 
Feet, Hands, Mouth, Forehead and 
Ears, than a Cabbage in its Leaves, 
Flowers, Stalk, Pith, and Head: Do 
not you really think, that if this poor 
Plant could speak, when one cuts it, 
it would not say, ' Dear Brother Man, 
what have I done to thee that deserves 
Death? I never grow but in Gardens, 
and am never to be found in desart 
places, where I might live in Security: 
I disdain all other company but thine; 
and scarcely am I sowed in thy Garden, 
when to shew thee my Good-will, I 
blow, stretch out my Arms to thee ; 
offer thee my Children in Grain ; and as 
a requital for my civility, thou causest 
my Head to be chopt off. ' Thus would 
a Cabbage discourse, if it could speak. 

Cabbages 159 

**Well, and because it cannot com- 
plain, ma}^ we therefore justly do it all 
the Wrong which it cannot hinder? If 
I find a Wretch bound Hand and Foot, 
may I lawfully kill him, because he 
cannot defend himself? so far from 
that, that his Weakness would aggra- 
vate my Cruelty. And though this 
wretched Creature be poor, and desti- 
tute of all the advantages which we 
have, yet it deserves not Death; and 
when of all the Benefits of a Being it 
hath only that of Encrease, we ought 
not cruelly to snatch that away from it. 
To massacre a Man, is not so great Sin, 
as to cut and kill a Cabbage, because 
one day the Man will rise again, but the 
Cabbage has no other Life to hope for : 
By putting to death a Cabbage, you an- 
nihilate it ; but in killing a Man, you 
make him only change his Habitation : 
Nay, I'll go farther with you still: 
since God doth equally cherish all his 
Works, and hath equally divided the 
Benefits betwixt Us and Plants, it is 
but just we should have an equal Es- 

i6o A Voyage to the Moon 

teem for Them as for our Selves. It is 
true we were born first, but in the 
Family of God there is no Birth-right. 
If then the Cabbage share not with us 
in the inheritance of Immortality, with- 
out doubt that Want was made up by 
some other Advantage, that may make 
amends for the shortness of its Being; 
may be by an universal Intellect, or a 
perfect Knowledge of all things in their 
Causes; and it's for that Reason, that 
the wise Mover of all things hath not 
shaped for it Organs like ours, which 
are proper only for a simple Reasoning, 
not only weak, but many times falla- 
cious too ; but others, more ingeniously 
framed, stronger, and more numerous, 
which serve to manage its Speculative 
Exercises. You'll ask me, perhaps, 
when ever any Cabbage imparted those 
lofty Conceptions to us? But tell me, 
again, who ever discovered to us cer- 
tain Beings, which we allow to be above 
us; to whom we bear no Analogy nor 
Proportion, and whose Existence it is 
as hard for us to comprehend, as the 

Cabbages 1 6 1 

Understanding and Ways whereby a 
Cabbage expresses its self to its like, 
though not to ns, because our senses 
are too dull to penetrate so far. 

" Moses ^ the greatest of Philosophers, 
who drew the Knowledge of Nature 
from the Fountain-Head, Nature her 
self, hinted this truth to us when he 
spoke of the Tree of Knowledge ; and 
without doubt he intended to intimate 
to us under that Figure, that Plants, in 
Exclusion to Mankind, possess perfect 
Philosophy. Remember, then, O thou 
Proudest of Animals! that though a 
Cabbage which thou cuttest sayeth not 
a Word, yet it pays it at Thinking ; but 
the poor Vegetable has no fit Organs 
to howl as you do, nor yet to frisk 
it about, and weep : Yet, it hath those 
that are proper to complain of the 
Wrong you do it, and to draw a Judge- 
ment from Heaven upon you for the 
Injustice. But if you still demand of 
, me, how I come to know that Cabbage 
and Coleworts conceive such pretty 
Thoughts? Then will I ask you, how 

1 62 A Voyage to the Moon 

come you to know that they do not; 
and that some amongst them, when 
they shut up at Night, may not Com- 
pliment one another as you do, saying: 
Good Night, Master Cole-Curled-Pate ; 
your most humble Servant, good Mas- 
ter Cabbage-Round-Head.'' 

So far was he gone on in his Dis- 
course, when the young Lad, who had 
led out our Philosopher, led him in 
again; '* What, Supped already? " cryed 
my Spirit to him. He answered, yes, 
almost: The Physiognomist having 
permitted him to take a little more with 
us. Our young Landlord stayed not 
till I should ask him the meaning of 
that Mystery; *' I perceive," said he, 
"you wonder at this VN^ay of Living; 
knpw then, that in your World, the 
Government of Health is too much 
neglected, and that our Method is not 
to be despised. 

** In all Houses there is a Physiogno- 
mist entertained by the Publick, * who 
in some manner resembles your Physi- 
1 Supported by the State. Cf, p. 34, n. i. 

Tne Physiognomist 163 

cians, save that he only prescribes to 
the Healthful, and jndges of the differ- 
ent manners how we are to be Treated 
only according to the Proportion, Fig- 
ure, and Symetry of our Members ; by 
the Features of the Face, the Complex- 
ion, the Softness of the Skin, the Agil- 
ity of the Body, the Sound of the 
Voice, and the Colour, Strength, and 
Hardness of the Hair. Did not you 
just now mind a Man, of a pretty low 
Stature, who ey'd you; he was the 
Physiognomist of the House : Assure 
your self, that according as he observed 
your Constitution, he hath diversified 
the Exhalation of your Supper : Mark 
the Quilt on which you lie, how distant 
it is from our Couches ; without doubt, 
he judges your Constitution to be far 
different from ours; since he feared 
that the Odour which evaporates from 
those little Pipkins that stand under our 
Noses, might reach you, or that yours 
might steam to us; at Night, you'll 
see him chuse the Flowers for your 
Bed with the same Circumspection/* 


Of the little Animals that make up our 
Life^ and likewise cause our Diseases ; 
and of the Disposition of the Towns in 
the Moon. 

During all this Discourse, I made 
Signs to my Landlord, that he would 
try if he could oblige the Philosophers 
to fall upon some head of the Science 
which they professed. He was too 
much my Friend, not to start an Occa- 
sion upon the Spot : But not to trouble 
the Reader with the Discourse and 
Entreaties that were previous to the 
Treaty, wherein Jest and Earnest were 
so wittily interwoven, that it can hardly 
be imitated; I'll only tell you that the 
Doctor, who came last, after many 
things, spake as follows: 

" It remains to be proved, that there 
are infinite Worlds, in an infinite 

Of Little Animals 165 

World: Fancy to your self then the 
Universe as a great Animal ; and that 
the Stars, which are Worlds, are in this 
great Animal, as other great Animals 
that serve reciprocally for Worlds to 
other Peoples; such as we, onr Horses, 
&c. That we in our tnrns, are like- 
wise Worlds to certain other Animals,, 
incomparably less than our selves, such, 
as Nits, Lice, Hand-worms, &c. And 
that these are an Earth to others, more 
imperceptible ones; in the same man- 
ner as every one of us appears to be a^ 
great World to these little People. 
Perhaps our Flesh, Blood, and Spirits^ 
are nothing else but a Contexture of 
little Animals ' that correspond, lend us 
Motion from theirs, and blindly suffer 
themselves to be guided by our Will, 
which is their Coachman ; or otherwise 
conduct us, and all Conspiring together, 
produce that Action which we call Life. 
" For tell me, pray, is it a hard thing 
to be believed, that a Louse takes your 

1 This and the following paragraphs appear to be 
an anticipation of the microbe theory. 

1 66 A Voyage to the Moon 

Body for a World ; and that when any 
one of them travels from one of your 
Ears to the other, his Companions say, 
that he hath travelled the Earth from 
end to end, or that he hath run from 
one Pole to the other? Yes, without 
doubt, those little People take your 
Hair for the Forests of their Country; 
the Pores full of Liquor, for Fountains ; 
Buboes and Pimples, for Lakes and 
Ponds ; Boils, for Seas ; and Defluxions, 
for Deluges: And when you Comb 
your self, forwards, and backwards, 
they take that Agitation for the Flow- 
ing and Ebbing of the Ocean. Doth 
not Itching make good what I say? 
What is the little Worm that causes it 
but one of these little Animals, which 
hath broken off from civil Society, that 
it may set up for a Tyrant in its Coun- 
try? If you ask me, w^hy are they big- 
ger than other imperceptible Crea- 
tures? I ask you, why are Elephants 
bigger than we? And the Irish-vaen, 
than Spaniards ? 

"As to the Blisters, and Scurff, 

Of Little Animals 167 

which you know not the Cause of; they 
must either happen by the Corruption 
of their Enemies, which these little 
Blades have killed, or which the Plague 
has caused by the scarcity of Food, for 
which the Seditious worried one anoth- 
er,^ and left Mountains of Dead Car- 
cases rotting in the Field ; or because 
the Tyrant, having driven away on all 
Hands his Companions, who by their 
Bodies stopt up the Pores of ours, 
hath made way out for the waterish 
matter, which being extravasted out 
of the Sphere of the Circulation of 
our Blood, is corrupted. It may be 
asked, perhaps, why a Nit, or Hand- 
worm, produces so many disorders: 
But that's easily conceived, for as one 
Revolt begets another, so these little 
People, egg'd on by the bad Example 
of their Seditious Companions, aspire 
severally to Sovereign Command ; and 
occasion every where War, Slaughter, 
and Famine, 

1 Fr., *'dont les Seditieux se sont gorges'" — with 
which the rebels have filled their bellies. 

1 68 A Voyage to the Moon 

^'But you'll say, some are far less 
subject to Itching than others; and, 
nevertheless, all are equally inhabited 
by these little Animals, since 3^ou say 
they are the Cause of our Life. That's 
true ; for we observe, that Phlegmatick 
People are not so much given to 
scratching as the Cholerick; because 
the People sympathizing with the Cli- 
mate they inhabit, are slower in a cold 
Body, than those others that are heated 
by the temper of their Region, who frisk 
and stir, and cannot rest in a place: 
Thus a Cholerick Man is more delicate 
than a Phlegmatick ; because being ani- 
mated in many more Parts, and the Soul 
being the Action of these little Beasts, 
he is capable of Feeling in all places 
where these Cattle stir. Whereas the 
Phlegmatick Man, wanting sufficient 
Heat to put that stirring Mobile in 
Action, is sensible but in a few places. 

'' To prove more plainly that univer- 
sal Ver'Pnicularity^ you need but consid- 
er, when you are wounded, how the 
Blood runs to the Sore : Your Doctors 

Of Little Animals 169 

say that it is guided by provident Na- 
ture, who would succour the parts de- 
bilitated; which might make u^ con- 
clude, that, besides the Soul and Mind, 
there were a third intellectual Sub- 
stance, that had distinct Organs and 
Functions : And therefore, it seems to 
me far more Rational to say, That 
these little Animals finding themselves 
attacked send to demand Assistance 
from their Neighbours, and thus, Re- 
cruits flocking in from all Parts and the 
Country being too little to contain so 
many, they either die of Hunger or are 
stifled in the Press. That Mortality 
happens when the Boil is ripe ; for as 
an Argument that these Animals at 
that time are stifled, the Flesh becomes 
insensible : Now, if Blood - letting, 
which is many times ordered to divert 
the Fluxion, do any good, it is because, 
much being lost by the Orifice which 
these little Animals laboured to stop, 
they refuse their Allies Assistance, 
having no more Forces than is enough 
to defend themselves at home." 

170 A Voyage to the Moon 

Thus he concluded, and when the 
second Philosopher perceived by all 
our Looks that we longed to hear him 
speak in his turn : 

"Men," said he, "seeing you are 
curious to instruct this little Animal, 
(our like) , in somewhat of the Science 
which we profess, I am now dictating a 
Treatise which I wish he might see, 
because of the Light it gives to the 
Understanding of our Natural Philoso- 
phy ; it is an Explication of the Origi- 
nal ^ of the World : But seeing I am in 
haste to set my Bellows at work, (for 
to Morrow, without delay, the Town 
departs ; ) I hope you'll excuse my want 
of time, and I promise to satisfie you as 
soon as the Town is arrived at the place 
whither it is to go." 

At these words, the Landlord's Son 
called his Father, to know what it was 
a Clock? who having answered him, 
that it was past Eight, he asked him in 
a great Rage, Why he did not give him 
notice at Seven, according as he had 

iC/. p. 95, n. I. 

Towns in the Moon 171 

commanded him; that he knew well 
enough the Houses were to be gone to 
Morrow ; and that the City Walls were 
already upon their Journey? "Son," 
replyed the good Man, '' since you sate 
down to Table, there is an Order pub- 
lished. That no House shall budg be- 
fore next day: " "That's all one," an- 
swered the young Man; "you ought 
blindly to obey, not to examine my 
Orders, and only remember what I com- 
manded you. Quick, go fetch me your 
Effigies: " So soon as it was brought, 
he took hold on't by the Arm, and 
"Whipt it a whole quarter of an Hour : 
"Away you ne'er be good," continued 
he ; " as a Punishment for your disobe- 
dience, it's my Will and Pleasure, that 
this day you serve for a Laughing-stock 
to all People ; and therefore I command 
you, not to walk but upon two Legs, 
till Night." The Poor Man went out 
in a very mournful Condition, and the 
Young man excused to us his Passion. 

I had much ado, though I bit my 
Lip, to forbear Laughing at so pleasant 

172 A Voyage to the Moon 

a Punishment; and therefore to take 
me off of this odd piece of Pedantick 
Discipline, which, without doubt, would 
have made me burst out at last; T 
prayed my Philosopher to tell me what 
he meant by that Journey of the Town 
he talked of, and if the Houses and 
Walls Travelled? 

"Dear Stranger," answered he, ''we 
have some Ambulatory Towns, and 
same Sedentary; the Ambulatory, as 
for instance this wherein now vre are, 
are Built in this manner : The Archi- 
tector, as you see, builds every Palace 
of a very light sort of Timber; sup- 
ported by four Wheels underneath ; in 
the thickness of one of the Walls he 
places ten large pair of Bellows, whose 
Snouts pass in a Horizontal Line 
through the upper Story, from one 
Pinacle to the other; so that when 
Towns are to be removed from one 
place to another, (for according to the 
Seasons they change the Air) every 
one spreads a great many Sails upon 
one side of the House, before the Noses 

Towns in the Moon 173 

of the Bellows ; then having wound up 
a Spring to make them play, in less 
than Eight days time their Houses, by 
the continual Puflfs which these Windy 
Monsters blow, are driven, if one 
pleases, an Hundred Leagues and 

'' For those which we call Sedentary, 
they are almost like to your Towers ; 
save that they are of Timber, and that 
they have a Great and Strong Skrew 
or Vice in the Middle, reaching from 
the top to the Bottom; whereby they 
may be hoisted up or let down as Peo- 
ple please. Now the Ground under 
neath is dugg as deep as the House is 
high ; and it is so ordered, that so soon 
as the Frosts begin to chill the Air, 
they may sink their Houses down un- 
der Ground, where they keep them- 
selves secure from the Severity of the 
Weather: But as soon as the gentle 
Breathings of the Spring begin to soft- 
en and qualifie the Air; they raise 
them above Ground again, by means 
of the great Skrew I told you of." 


Of the Original of All Things ; oj 
Atomes ; and of the Operation of the 


I prayed him, since he had shew'd 
so much goodness, and that the Town 
was not to part ^ till next day, that he 
would tell me somewhat of that Origi- 
nal of the World, which he had men- 
tioned not long before ; " and I prom- 
ise you,'' said I, ^'that in requital, so 
soon as I am got back to the Moon, 
from whence my Governour (pointing 
to my Spirit) will tell you that I am 
come, I'll spread your Renown there, - 

^ Part and depart were interchangeable in the 
seventeenth century. Cf, Shakspere, Two Gentle- 
me7i of Verona : 

" But now he parted hence"; 
and, on the other hand, King John : 

"Hath willingly departed with a part" {= given 
up a part). 

Original of all Things 175 

by relating- the rare things you shall 
tell me: I perceive you Laugh at that 
promise, because you do not believe 
that the Moon I speak of is a World, 
and that I am an Inhabitant of it ; but 
I can assure you also, that the People 
of that World, who take this only for 
a Moon, will Laugh at me when I tell 
them that your Moon is a World, and 
that there are Fields and Inhabitants 
in it: '* 

He answered only with a smile, and 
spake in this manner : 

" Since in Ascending to the Original 
of this Great ALL, we are forced to 
run into three or four Absurdities ; it 
is but reasonable we should follow the 
way wherein we may be least apt to 
stumble. I say then, that the first Ob- 
stacle that stops us short is the Eternity 
of the World ; and the minds of men, 
not being able enough to conceive it, 
and being no more able to imagine, 
that this great Universe, so lovely and 
so well ordered, could have made it 
self, they have had their recourse to 

176 A Voyage to the Moon 

Creation : But like to him that would 
leap into a River for fear of being wet 
with Rain, they save themselves out of 
the Clutches of a Dwarf, by running 
into the Arms of a Giant ; and yet they 
are not safe for all that: For that 
Eternity which they deny the World, 
because they cannot comprehend it, 
they attribute it to God, as if he stood 
in need of that Present, and as if it 
. were easier to imagine it in the one 
than in the other; for tell me, pray, 
was it ever yet conceived in Nature, 
how Something can be made of Noth- 
ing? Alas! Betwixt Nothing and an 
Atome only, there are such infinite 
Disproportions, that the sharpest Wit 
could never dive into them ; therefore 
to get out of this inextricable Laby- 
rinth, you must admit of a Matter 
Eternal with God: But you'l say to 
me, grant I should allow you that Eter- 
nal Matter ; how could that Chaos dis- 
pose and order it self? That's the 
thing I am about to explain to you. 
" My little Animal, after you have 

Of Atonies 177 

mentally divided every little Visible 
Body, into an infinite many little 
invisible Bodies; yon must imagine, 
That the infinite Universe consists only 
of these Atomes, which are most solid, 
most incorruptible, and most simple ; 
whose Figures are partly Cubical, 
partly Parallelograms, partly Angular, 
partly Round, partly Sharp-pointed, 
partly Pyramidal, partly Six-cornered, 
and partly Oval; which act all sever- 
ally, according to their Various Fig- 
ures: And to shew that it is so, put a 
very round Ivory Bowl upon a very 
smooth place, and with the least touch 
you give it will be half a quarter of an 
hour before it rest : Now I say, that if 
it were perfectly round, as some of the 
Atomes I speak of are, and the Surface 
on which it is put perfectly smooth, it 
would never rest. If Art then be capa- 
ble of inclining a Body to a perpetual 
Motion, why may we not believe that 
Nature can do it? It's the same with 
the other Figures, of which the Square 
requires a perpetual Rest, others an 

178 A Voyage to the Moon 

oblique Motion, others a half Motion, 
as Trepidation ; and the Round, whose 
Nature is to move, joyning a Pyra- 
midal, makes that, perhaps, which we 
call Fire ; because not only Fire is in 
continual Agitation, but also because 
it easily penetrates: Besides, the Fire 
hath different effects, according to the 
openings and quality of the Angles, 
when the round Figure is joyned; for 
Example, The Fire of Pepper is anoth- 
er thing than the Fire of Sugar, the 
Fire of Sugar differs from that of Cin- 
namon; that of Cinnamon, from that 
of the Clove ; and this from the Fire of 
a Faggot. Now the Fire, which is the 
Architect of the parts and whole of the 
Universe, hath driven together, and 
Congregated into an Oak, the quantity 
of Figures which are necessary for the 
Composition of that Oak. 

*' But you'll say, how could Hazard 
congregate into one place all the Fig- 
ures that are necessary for the produc- 
tion of that Oak? I answer, That it is 
no wonder that Matter so disposed 

Of Atomes 179 

should form an Oak, but the wonder 
would have been greater, if the Matter 
being so disposed the Oak had not been 
produced ; had there been a few less of 
some Figures, it would have been an 
Elm, a Poplar, a Willow ; and fewer of 
'em still, it would have been the Sensi- 
tive Plant, an Oyster, a Worm, a Flie, 
a Frog, a Sparrow, an Ape, a Man. If 
three Dice being flung upon a Table, 
there happen a Rafile of two, or all ; ^ a 
three, a four, and a five ; or two sixes, 
and a third in the bottom;^ w^ould you 
say, O strange! that each Die should 
turn up such a chance, when there were 
so many others. A Sequence of three 
hath happened, O strange ! Two sixes 
turned up, and the bottom of the third, 
O strange ! I am sure that being a man 
of Sense, you'l never make such Ex- 
clamations ; for since there is but a cer- 
tain quantity of Numbers upon the 
Dice, it's impossible but some of them 
must turn up; and you wonder, after 

' Two alike, or all three alike. 
2 Two sixes and a one. 

i8o A Voyage to the Moon 

that, how matter shuffled together Pell- 
Mell, as Chance pleases, should make 
a Man, seeing so many things were 
necessary for the Construction of his 
Being. You know not then, that this 
Matter tending to the Fabrick of a Man 
hath been a Million of times stopt in 
it's Progress for forming sometimes 
a Stone, sometimes Lead, sometimes 
Coral, sometimes Flower, sometimes a 
Comet ; and all because of more or less 
Figures, that were required for the 
framing of a Man: So that it is no 
greater wonder, if amongst infinite 
Matters, which incessantly change and 
stir, some have hit upon the construc- 
tion of the few Animals, Vegetables, 
and Minerals which we see, than if in a 
Hundred Casts of the Dice, one should 
throw a Raffle : Nay, indeed, it is im- 
possible, that in this hurling of things, 
nothing should be produced; and yet 
this will be always admired ^ by a Block- 
head, who little knows how small a 
matter would have made it to have 

i Wondered at. 

Of Atomes 18 i 

been otherwise. When the great River 

^^ -- — ■V-— makes a Mill to Grind, 
or guides the Wheels of a Glock, and 

the Brook of — , " " only runs, 

and sometimes absconds, you will not 
say that that River hath a great deal of 
AVit, because you know that it hath met 
with things disposed for producing such 
rare Feats ; for had not the Mill stood in 
the way, it would not have ground the 
Corn; had it not met the Clock, it 
would not have marked the Hours: 
and if the little Rivulet I speak of had 
met with the same Opportunities, it 
would have wrought the very same 
Miracles. Just so it is with the Fire 
that moves of it self; for finding Or- 
gans fit for the Act of Reasoning, it 
Reasons ; when it finds only such as are 
proper for Sensation, it Sensates; and 
when such as are fit for Vegetation, it 
Vegetates. And to prove it is so, put 

1 82 A Voyage to the Moon 

out but the Eyes of a Man, the Fire of 
whose Soul makes him to see, and he 
will cease to see; just as our great 
Clock will leave off to make the Hours, 
if the Movements of it be broken. 

" In fine, these Primary and indivisi- 
ble Atomes make a Circle, whereon 
without difficulty move the most pre- 
plexed Difficulties of Natural Philoso- 
phy; not so much as even the very 
Operation of the Senses, which no Body 
hitherto hath been able to conceive, 
but I will easily explain by these little 
Bodies. Let us begin with the Sight. 
It deserves, as being the most incom- 
prehensible, our first Essay. 

^ '' It is performed then, as I imagine, 
when the Tunicles of the Eye, whose 
Pores resemble those of Glass, trans- 
mitting that fiery Dust which is called 
Visual Rays, the same is stopt by some 
opacous Matter which makes it recoil ; 
and then, raeeting in its retreat the 
Image of the Object that forced it 

1 Notice that the basis of this discussion is the 
supposition that the visual rays start from the eye. 

Operation of the Senses 183 

back, and that Image being- but an in- 
finite number of little Bodies exhaled 
in an equal Superfice from the Object 
beheld, it pursues it to our Eye: 
You'll not fail to Object, I know, that 
Glass is an Opacous Body, and very 
Compact; and that nevertheless, in- 
stead of reflecting other Bodies, it lets 
them pass through : But I answer, that 
the Pores of Glass are shaped in the 
same Figure as those Atomes are which 
pass through it ; and as a Wheat-Sieve 
is not proper for Sifting of Oats, nor an 
Oat-Sieve to Sift Wheat; so a Box of 
Deal-Board, though it be thin and lets 
a sound go through it, is impenetrable 
to the Sight ; and a piece of Chrystal, 
though transparent and pervious to the 
Eye, is not penetrable to the Touch." 

I could not here forbear to interrupt 
him : *' A great Poet and Philosopher ^ of 
our World," said I, "hath after Epicu- 
rus and Democritus^^ spoken of these 

i Lucretius. 

^ Democritus was the originator of the atomic 

184 A Voyage to the Moon 

little Bodies, in the same manner al- 
most as you do; and therefore, you 
don't at all surprise me by that Dis- 
course: Only tell me, I pray, as you 
proceed, how, according to yaur Prin- 
ciples, you'll explain to me the manner 
of drawing your Picture in a Looking- 
Glass. " 

"That's very easie," replied he, "for 
imagine with your self, that those Fires 
of our Eyes, having passed through 
the Glass and meeting behind it an 
Opacous Body that reverberates them, 
they come back the wa}' they went; 
and finding those little Bodies march- 
ing in equal Superfices upon the Glass, 
they repel them to our Eyes ; and our 
Imagination, hotter than the other Fac- 
ulties of our Soul, attracts the more 
subtile, wherewith it draws our Picture 
in little. 

" It is as easie to conceive the Act of 
Hearing, and for Brevities sake, let us 
only consider it in the Harmony of a 
Lute, touched by the Hand of a Master. 
You'll ask me, How can it be, that I 

Operation of the Senses 185 

perceive at so great a distance a thing 
which I do not see? Does there a 
Sponge go out of my Ears, that drinks 
up that Musick, and brings it back with 
it again? Or does the Player beget in 
my Head another little Musician, with 
another little Lute, who has Orders 
like an Eccho to sing over to me the 
same Airs? No; But that Miracle pro- 
ceeds from this, that the String touched, 
striking those little Bodies of which 
the Air is composed, drives it gently 
into my Brain, with those little Corpo- 
real Nothings that sweetly pierce into 
it: and accordinsf as the Strinsf is 
stretched, the Sound is high, because it 
more vigorously drives the Atomes; 
and the Organ being thus penetrated, 
furnisheth the Fancy wherewith to 
make a Representation ; if too little, 
then our Memory not having as yet fin- 
ished its Image, we are forced to repeat 
the same sound to it again ; to the end it 
may take enough of Materials, which, for 
Instance, the Measures of a Saraband^ 

^ A lively Spanish dance-measure. 

I 86 A Voyage to the Moon 

furnish it with, for finishing the Pic- 
ture of that Saraband ; but that Opera- 
tion is nothing near so wonderful as 
those others, which by the help of the 
same Organ excite us sometimes to Joy, 
sometimes to Anger. 

" And this happens, when in that mo- 
tion these little Bodies meet with other 
little Bodies within us moving in the 
same manner, or whose Figure renders 
them susceptible of the same Agitation ; 
for then these New-comers stir up their 
Landlords to move as they do; & 
thus, when a violent Air meets with 
the Fire of our Blood, it inclines it to 
the same Motion, and animates it to a 
Sally, which is the thing we call Heat 
of Courage ; if the Sound be softer, and 
have only force enough to raise a less 
Flame in greater Agitation, by leading 
it along the Nerves, Membranes, and 
through the interstices of our Flesh it 
excites that Tickling which is called 
Joy : And so it happens in the Ebulli- 
tion of the other Passions, according as 
these little Bodies are more or less vio- 

operation of the Senses 187 

lently tossed upon us, according to the 
Motion they receive by the rencounter 
of other Agitations, and according as 
they find Dispositions in us for motion. 
So much for Hearing. 

" Now, I think the Demonstration of 
Touching will be every whit as easie, 
if we conceive that out of all palpable 
Matter there is a perpetual Emission of 
little Bodies, and that the more we 
touch them, the more evaporates; be- 
cause we press them out of the Subject 
it self, as Water out of a Sponge when 
we squeez it. The Hard make a report 
to the Organ of their Hardness; the 
Soft, of their Softness ; the Rough, &c. 
And since this is so, we are not so 
quaint in Feeling with Hands used to 
Labour, because of the Thickness of 
the Skin, which being neither porous, 
nor animated, with difficulty transmits 
the Evaporations of Matter. Some, 
perhaps, may desire to know where the 
Organ of Touching has its Residence. 
For my part, I think it is spread over 
all the Surface of the Body, seeing in 

I 88 A Voyage to the Moon 

all parts it feels: Yet I imagine, that 
the nearer the Member, wherewith we 
touch, be to the Head, the sooner we 
distinguish; which Experience con- 
vinces us of, when with shut Eyes we 
handle any thing, for then we'll more 
easily guess what it is; and if on the 
contrary we feel it with our hinder 
Feet, it will be harder for us to know it : 
And the Reason is, because our Skin 
being all over perforated, our Xvf^rves, 
which are of no compacter Matter, lose 
by the way a great many of those little 
Atomes through the little Holes of 
their Contexture, before they reach the 
Brain, which is their Journeys end : It 
remains, that I speak of the Smelling 
and Tasting. 

" Pray tell me, when I taste a Fruit, 
is it not because the Heat of my Mouth 
melts it? Confess to me then, that 
there being Salts in a Pear, and that 
they being separated by Dissolution 
into little Bodies of a different Figure 
from those which make the Taste of an 
Apple , they must needs pierce our 

Operation of the Senses i89 

Pallate in a very different manner: 
Just so as the thrust of a Pike, that 
passes through me, is not like the 
Wound which a Pistol-Bullet makes me 
feel with a sudden start ; and as that 
Pistol Bullet makes me suffer another 
sort of Pain than that of a Slug [of 

'^I have nothing to say, as to the 
Smelling, seeing the Philosophers them- 
selves confess, that it is performed by 
a continual Emission of little Bodies. 

" Now upon the same Principle will I 
explain to you the Creation, Harmony, 
and Influence of the Celestial Globes, 
with the immutable Variety of Me- 

He was about to proceed; but the 
Old Landlord coming in, made our 
Philosopher think of withdrawing ; He 
brought in Christals full of Glow- 
worms, to light the Parlour ; but seeing 
those little fiery Insects lose much of 
their Light, when they are not fresh 
gathered, these which were ten days 
old had hardly any at all. My Spirit 

190 A Voyage to the Moon 

stayed not till the Company should com- 
plain of it, but went up to his Chamber, 
and came immediately back again 
with two Bowls of Fire so Sparkling 
that all wondred he burnt not his Fin- 
gers. "These incombustible Tapers," 
said he, " will serve us better than your 
Week ^ of Worms. They are Rays of 
the Sun, which I have purged from 
their Heat; otherwise, the corrosive 
qualities of their Fire would have daz- 
led and offended your Eyes; I have 
fixed their Light, and inclosed it within 
these transparent Bowls. '^ That ought 
not to afford you any great Cause of 
Admiration; for it is not harder for 
me, who am a Native of the Sun, to 
condense his Beams, which are the 
Dust of that World, than it is for you 

^ Wick {cf. the Standard Dictionary). Some 
modern French editions have " pelotons de verre," 
meaning ''glass bulbs,'' but this is evidently a mis- 
take, since the seventeenth-century editions have 
verres, which is their form, in all cases, for the 
modern vers. See also the first meaning of peloton 
in Littre. 

2 The incandescent electric light ? 

Operation of the Senses 191 

to gather the Atomes of the pulverized 
Earth of this World. "' 

Thereupon our Landlord sent a Ser- 
vant to wait upon the Philosophers 
home^ it being then Night, with a dozen 
Globes of Glowworms hanging at his 
four Legs. As for my Preceptor and 
my self, we went to rest, by order of the 
Phisiognomist. He laid me that Night 
in a Chamber of Violets and Lillies, 
[and] ordered me to be tickled after 
the usual manner. 

CliAl'l Li: A\'. 

y the Books tn the Moon^ and ti 
Fashicr -^ ^rath, Hurial.and lui 
ifis^ : "^ fanner of telling 

i oj Noses. 

Next Morning about Nine a Clock . 
me that he 

::ie Queens Man 
lad sent for him, and that she had cn- 

nired after me, protesting that - 
il nrrsisted in her Design to be 

her Word; that is, that with 

all her Heart she would follow me, if 
T would take her along with me tn 
he other World; ** which exceedinj^ly 
leased me," said he, "when I under- 
stood that the chief Motive which in- 
clined her to the Voyage, was to be- 


The Author's Flvin<; Machine. 

—Irom .1 I'tU Century Hngravinji 

Books in the Moon 193 

come Christian: And therefore, I have 
promised to forward her Design, what 
lies in me ; and for that end to invent 
a Machine that may hold three or four, 
wherein you may mount to day, both 
together, if you think fit. I'll go seri- 
ously set about the performance of my 
Undertaking; and in the mean time, 
to entertain you, during my Absence, I 
leave you here a Book, which hereto- 
fore I brought with me from my Native 
Countrey; the Title of it is, Tlie States 
and Empires of the Sitn^ z^ntJi an Addt- 
tioji of the History of the Spark. ' I also 

^ Cyrano's own work. It is full of interesting 
matters, including a trip through the country of 
the Birds, which offers many points of comparison 
with Gulliver's Voyage to the country of the 
Houyhnhms. Cyrano finally, under the guidance 
of Campanella, arrives at the land of the Philos- 
ophers of the Sun (compare Swift's Laputaj, where 
he meets Descartes and Gassendi, as Gulliver does 
in the Laputan province of Glubbdubdrib (Voyage 
to Laputa, chap. viii.). 

Cyrano's machine for reaching the sun, depicted 
in the illustration opposite, is best described in the 
words of M. Rostand's play, and completes our 
parallels with all the six means of scaling the sky 
which Cyrano there enumerates: " Or else, I could 

194 A Voyage to the Moon 

give yon this, which I esteem much 
more ; it is the great Work of the Phi- 
losophers, composed by one of the great- 
est Wits of the Sun/ He proves in it 
that all things are true, and shews the 
way of uniting Physically the Truths of 
every Contradiction ; as, for Example, 
That White is Black, and Black White ; 
that one may be, and not be at the 
same time ; that there may be a Moun- 
tain without a Valley ; that nothing is 
something, and that all things that are, 
are not ; but observe, that he proves all 
these unheard-of Paradoxes without 
any Captious or Sophistical Argu- 

"When you are weary of Reading, 
you may Walk, or Converse with our 
Landlord's Son, he has a very Charm- 
ing Wit; but that which I dislike in 
him is, that he is a little Atheistical. 
If he chance to Scandalize you, or by 

have let the wind into a cedar coffer, then rarified 
the imprisoned element by means of cunningly ad- 
justed burning glasses, and soared up with it." 

1 Probably Campanella ; <r/. p. 78, n. i. On his 
"great work," cf, also p. 79, n. i. 

Books in the Moon 195 

any Argument shake your Faith, fail 
not immediately to come and propose it 
to me, and I'll clear the Difficulties of 
it; any other, but I, would enjoin you 
to break Company with him ; but since 
he is extreamly proud and conceited, I 
am certain he would take your flight 
for a Defeat, and would believe your 
Faith to be grounded on no Reason, if 
you refused to hear his.'* 

Having said so, he left me ; and no 
sooner was his back turned, but I fell 
to consider attentively my Books and 
their Boxes, that's to say, their Covers, 
which seemed to me to be wonderfully 
Rich ; the one was cut of a single Dia- 
mond, incomparably more resplendent 
than ours; the second looked like a 
prodigious great Pearl, cloven in two. 
My Spirit had translated those Books 
into the Language of that World ; but 
because I have none of their Print, I'll 
now explain to you the Fashion of these 
two Volumes. 

As I opened the Box, I found within 
somewhat of Metal, almost like to our 

196 A Voyage to the Moon 

Clocks, full of I know not what little 
Springs and imperceptible Engines: 
It was a Book, indeed ; but a Strange 
and Wonderful Book, that had neither 
Leaves nor Letters: In fine, it was a 
Book made wholly for the Ears, and 
not the Eyes. So that when any Body 
has a mind to read in it, he winds up 
that Machine with a great many Strings ; 
then he turns the Hand to the Chapter 
which he desires to hear, and straight, 
as from the Mouth of a Man, or a Musi- 
cal Instrument, proceed all the distinct 
and different Sounds,^ which the Lunar 
Grandees make use of for expressing 
their Thoughts, instead of Language. 

When I since reflected on this Mirac- 
ulous Invention, I no longer wondred 
that the Young- Men of that Country 
were more knowing at Sixteen or Eigh- 
teen years Old, than the Gray-Beards 
of our Climate; for knowing how to 
Read as soon as Speak, they are never 
without Lectures,^ in their Chambers, 

1 Is this an anticipation of the phonograph? 

" Readings, Cf. Sir Thomas Browne : ' ' In the 

Death, Burial, and Burning 197 

their Walks, the Town, or Travelling; 
they may have in their Pockets, or at 
their Girdles, Thirty o£ these Books, 
where they need but wind up a Spring 
to hear a whole Chapter, and so more, 
if they have a mind to hear the Book 
quite through; so that yon never want 
the Company of all the great Men, liv- 
ing and Dead, who entertain yon with 
Living Voices. This Present employed 
me about an hour; and then hanging 
them to my Ears, like a pair of Pen- 
dants, I went a Walking; but I was 
hardly at End of the Street when I met 
a Multitude of People very Melancholy. 
Four of them carried upon their 
Shoulders a kind of a Herse, covered 
with Black: I asked a Spectator, what 
that Procession, like to a Funeral in my 
Country, meant? He made me answer, 

that that naughty — ^^j^ — ' , called so 

by the People because of a knock he 

lecture of Holy Scripture, their apprehensions are 
commonly confined unto the literal sense of the 

198 A Voyage to the Moon 

had received upon the Right Knee, 
being convicted of Envy and Ingrati- 
tude, died the day before; and that 
Twenty Years ago, the Parliament had 
Condemned him to die in his Bed, and 
then to be interred after his Death. 
I fell a Laughing at that Answer. And 
he asking me, why? '' You amaze me, " 
said I, " that that which is counted a 
Blessing in our World, as a long Life, 
a peaceable Death, and an Honourable 
Burial, should pass here for an exem- 
plary Punishment." '^ What, do you 
take a Burial for a precious thing then,*' 
replyed that Man? " And, in good ear- 
nest, can you conceive any thing more 
Horrid than a Corps crawling with 
Worms, at the discretion of Toads 
which feed on his Cheeks ; the Plague 
it self Clothed with the Body of a Man? 
Good God! The very thought of hav- 
ing, even when I am Dead, my Face 
wrapt up in a Shroud, and a Pike-depth 
of Earth upon my Mouth, makes me I 
can hardly fetch breath. The Wretch 
whom you see carried here, besides the 

Death, Burial, and Burning 199 

disgrace of being- thrown into a Pit, 
hath been Condemned to be attended 
by an Hundred and Fifty of his Friends ; 
who are strictly charged, as a Punish- 
ment for their having loved an envious 
and ungrateful Person, to appear with 
a sad Countenance at his Funeral ; and 
had it not been that the Judges took 
some compassion of him, imputing his 
Crimes partly to his want of Wit, they 
would have been commanded to Weep 
there also. 

" All are Burnt here, except Male- 
factors: And, indeed, it is a most ra- 
tional and decent Custom : For we be- 
lieve, that the Fire having separated 
the pure from the impure, the Heat by 
Sympathy reassembles the natural Heat 
which made the Soul, and gives it force 
to mount up till it arrive at some Star, 
the Country of certain people more im- 
material and intellectual than us ; be- 
cause their Temper ought to suit with, 
and participate of the Globe which they 

" However, this is not our neatest 

200 A Voyage to the Moon 

way of Burying neither ; for when any 
one of our Philosophers comes to an 
Age, wherein he finds his Wit begin to 
decay, and the Ice of his years to nnmm 
the Motions of his Soul, he invites all 
his Friends to a sumptuous Banquet; 
then having declared to them the Rea- 
sons that move him to bid farewel to 
Nature, and the little hopes he has of 
adding any thing more to his worthy 
Actions, they shew him Favour; that's 
to say, they suffer him to Dye ; or other- 
wise are severe to him and command 
him to Live. When then, by plurality 
of Voices, they have put his Life into 
his own Hands, he acquaints his dear- 
est Friends with the day and place. 
These purge, and for Four and Twenty 
hours abstain from Eating; then being 
come to the House of the Sage, and 
having Sacrificed to the Sun, they enter 
the Chamber where the generous Phi- 
losopher w-aits for them on a Bed of 
State; every one embraces him, and 
when it comes to his turn whom he 
loves best, having: kissed him affec- 

Telling the Time 201 

tionately, leaning upon his Bosom, 
and joyning Mouth to ]\Iouth, with his 
right hand he sheaths a Dagger in his 

I interrupted this Discourse, saying 
to him that told me all, That this ]\Ian- 
ner of Acting much resembled the ways 
of some People of our World ; and so 
pursued my Walk, which was so long 
that when I came back Dinner had been 
ready Two Hours. They asked me, 
why I came so late? It is not my Faulty 
said I to the Cook, who complained : I 
asked what it was a Clock several times 
in the Street, but they made me no an- 
swer but by opening their Mouths, shut- 
ting their Teeth, and turning their 
Faces awry. 

"How," cried all the Com.pany, "did 
not you know by that, that they shewed 
you what it was a Clock?" "Faith," 
said I, " the}' might have held their 
great Noses in the Sun long enough, 
before I had understood what they 
meant." "It's a Commodity," said 
they, **that saves them the Trouble of 

202 A Voyage to the Moon 

a Watch; for with their Teeth they 
make so true a Dial, that when they 
would tell any Body the Hour of the 
day, the}^ do no more but open their 
Lips, and the shadow of that Nose, fall- 
ing upon their Teeth, like the Gnomon 
of a Sun-Dial, makes the precise time. 
'' Now that you may know the reason, 
why all People in this Country have 
great Noses; as soon as a Woman is 
brought to Bed the Midwife carries the 
Child to the Master of tlie Semijiary ; 
and exactly at the years end, the Skill- 
ful being assembled, if his Nose prove 
shorter than the standing Measure, 
which an Alderman keeps, he is judged 
to be a Flat Nose^ and delivered over to 
be gelt. You'l ask me, no doubt, the 
Reason of that Barbarous Custom, and 
how it comes to pass that we, amongst 
whom Virginity is a Crime, should en- 
]oyn Continence by force; but know 
that we do so, because after Thirty 
Ages experience we have observed, that 
a great Nose is the mark of a Witty, 
Courteous, Affable, Generous and Lib- 

Of Noses 203 

eral Man ; and that a little Nose is a 
Sign of the contrary : ^ Wherefore of 
Flat Noses we make Eunuchs, because 
the Republick had rather have no Chil- 
dren at all than Children like them." 

He was still a speaking, when I saw a 
man come in stark Naked; I presently 
sat down and put on my Hat to shew 
him Honour, for these are the greatest 
Marks of Respect, that can be shew'd 
to any in that Country. " The King- 
dom," said he, " desires you would give 
the Magistrates notice, before you re- 
turn to your own World; because a 
Mathematician hath just now under- 
taken before the Council, that provided 
when you are returned home, you 
would make a certain Machine, that 
he '1 teach you how to do; he'l attract 
your Globe, and joyn it to this." 

During all this Discourse we went on 

1 Cf. M. Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac^ act I. 
scene iv. : " Cyrano. A great nose is properly the 
index of an affable, kindly, courteous man, witty, 
liberal, brave, such as I am ! and such as you are 
forevermore precluded from supposing yourself, 
deplorable rogue ! " 

204 A Voyage to the Moon 

with our Dinner; and as soon as we 
rose from Table, we went to take the 
Air in the Garden ; where taking Occa- 
sion to speak of the Generation and 
Conception of things, he said to me, 
" Yon must know, that the Earth, con- 
verting it self into a Tree, from a Tree 
into a Hog, and from a Hog into a 
Man, is an Argument that all things 
in Nature aspire to be Men ; since that 
is .the most perfect Being, as being 
a Quintessence, and the best devised 
Mixture in the World; which alone 
unites the Animal and Rational Life 
into one. None but a Pedant will deny 
me this, when we see that a Plumb- 
Tree, by the Heat of its Germ, as by a 
Mouth, sucks in and digests the Earth 
that's about it; that a Hog devours the 
Fruit of this Tree, and converts it into 
the Substance of it self; and that a 
Man feeding on that Hog, reconcocts 
that dead Flesh, unites it to himself, 
and makes that Animal to revive under 
a more Noble Species. So the Man 
whom you see, perhaps threescore 

Of Noses 205 

years ago was no more but a Tuft of 
Grass in my Garden ; which is the more 
probable, that the Opinion of the Pytha- 
gorean Metamorphosis, which so many 
Great Men maintain, in all likelyhood 
has only reached us to engage us into 
an Enquiry after the truth of it ; as, in 
reality, we have found that Matter, and 
all that has a Vegetative or Sensitive 
Life, when once it hath attained to the 
period of its Perfection, w^heels about 
again and descends into its Inanity, that 
it may return upon the Stage and Act 
the same Parts over and over." I went 
down extreamly satisfyed to the Gar- 
den, and was beginning to rehearse to 
my Companion what our Master had 
taught me; when the Physiognomist 
came to conduct us to Supper, and 
afterwards to Rest. 


Of Miracles ; and of Curing by the 

Next Morning, so soon as I awoke, I 
went to call up my Antagonist. " It 
is," said I, accosting him, ''as great a 
Miracle to find a great Wit, like yours, 
buried in Sleep, as to see Fire without 
Heat and Action: " He bore with this 
ugly Compliment; ''but/' (cryed he, 
with a Cholerick kind of Love) "will 
you never leave these Fabulous Terms? 
Know, that these Names defame the 
Name of a Philosopher ; and that see- 
ing the wise Man sees nothing in the 
World, but what he conceives, and 
judges may be conceived, he ought to 
abhor all those Expressions of Prodi- 
gies, and extraordinary Events of Na- 
ture, which Block heads have invented 
to excuse the Weakness of their Under- 

Of Curing by Faith 207 

I thought my self then obliged in 
Conscience, to endeavour to undeceive 
him; and therefore, said I, '* Though 
you be very stiff and obstinate in your 
Opinions, yet I have plainly seen super- 
natural Things happen :" " Say you so," 
continued he; '^you little know, that 
the force of Imagination is able to cure 
all the Diseases which you attribute to 
supernatural Causes, by reason of a 
certain natural Balsam, that contains 
Qualities quite contrary to the qualities 
of the Diseases that attack us; which 
happens, when our Imagination in- 
formed by Pain searches in that place 
for the specifick Remedy, which it ap- 
plies to the Poison. That's the reason, 
why an able Physician of your Vv/'orld 
advises the Patient to make use of an 
Ignorant Doctor whom he esteems to 
be very knowing, rather than of a very 
Skilful Physician whom he may imag- 
ine to be Ignorant ; because he- fancies, 
that our Imagination labouring to re- 
cover our Health, provided it be as- 
sisted by Remedies, is able to cure us ; 

2o8 A Voyage to the Moon 

but that the strongest Medicines are 
too weak, when not applied by Imagi- 
nation. Do you think it strange, that 
the first Men of your World lived so 
many Ages without the least Knowl- 
edge of Physick? No. And what 
might have been the Cause of that, in 
your judgement; unless their Natui?e 
was as yet in its force, and that natural 
Balsam in vigour, before they were 
spoilt by the Drugs wherewith Physi- 
cians consume you ; it being enough 
then for the recovery of ones Health, 
earnestly to wish for it, and to imagine 
himself cured : So that their vigorous 
Fancies, plunging into that vital Oyl, 
extracted the Elixir of it, and applying 
Actives to Passives, in almost the twink- 
ling of an Eye they found theraselves 
as sound as before: Which, notwith- 
standing the Depravation of Nature, 
happens even at this day, though some- 
what rarely ; and is by the Multitude 
called a Miracle: For my part, I be- 
lieve not a jot on't, and have this to 
say for my self, that it is easier for all 

Of Miracles 209 

these Doctors to be mistaken, than that 
the other may not easily come to pass : 
For I put the Question to them ; A Pa- 
tient recovered out of a Feaver, heart- 
ily desired, during his sickness, as it is 
like, that he might be cured, and, may 
be, made Vows for that effect ; so that 
of necessity he must either have dyed, 
continued sick, or recovered: Had he 
died, then would it have been said, kind 
Heaven hath put an end to his Pains; 
Nay, and that according to his Prayers, 
he was now cured of all Diseases, praised 
be the Lord: Had his Sickness con- 
tinued, one would have said, he wanted 
Faith; but because he is cured, it's a 
Miracle forsooth. Is it not far more 
likely, that his Fancy, being excited by 
violent Desires, hath done its Duty and 
wrought the Cure? For grant he hath 
escaped, what then? must it needs be 
a Miracle? How many have we seen, 
pray, and after many solemn Vows and 
Protestations, go to pot with all their 
fair Promises and Resolutions." 

*'But at least," replied I to him, *'if 

2 1 o A Voyage to the Moon 

what you say of that Balsam be true, it 
is a mark of the Rationality of our 
Soul; seeing without the help of our 
Reason, or the Concurrence of our 
Will, she Acts of her self; as if being 
without us, she applied the Active to 
the Passive. Now if being separated 
from us she is Rational, it necessarily 
follows that she is Spiritual ; and if you 
acknowledge her to be Spiritual, I con- 
clude she is immortal; seeing Death 
happens to Animals, only by the chang- 
ing of Forms, of which Matter alone is 

The Young Man at that, decently sit- 
ting down upon his Bed, and making 
me also to sit, discoursed, as I remem- 
ber, in this manner : " As for the Soul of 
Beasts, which is Corporeal, I do not 
wonder they Die; seeing the best Har- 
mony of the four Qualities may be dis- 
solved, the greatest force of Blood 
quelled, and the loveliest Proportion of 
Organs disconcerted ; but I wonder very 
much, that our intellectual, incorporeal, 
and immortal Soul should be con- 

Of Soul and Sense 211 

strained to dislodge and leave ns, by 
the same Cause that makes an Ox to 
perish. Hath she covenanted with 
otir Body, that as soon as he should re- 
ceive a prick with a Sword in the Heart, 
a Bullet in the Brain, or a Musket-shot 
through the Chest, she should pack up 
and be gone? And if that Soul were 
Spiritual, and of her self so Rational 
that being separated from our Alass 
she understood as well as when Clothed 
with a Body; why cannot Blind Men, 
born with all the fair advantages of 
that intellectual Soul, imagine what it 
is to see? Is it because they are not as 
yet deprived of Sight, by the Death of 
all their Senses? How! I cannot then 
make use of my Right Hand, because 
I have a Left ! 

"And in fine, to make a just com- 
parison which will overthrow all that 
you have said; I shall only alledge to 
you a Painter, who cannot work with- 
out his pencil: And I'll tell you, that 
it is just so with the Soul, w^hen she 
wants the use of the Senses. Yet they '1 

212 A Voyage to the Moon 

have the Soul, which can only act im- 
perfectly, because of the loss of one of 
her Tools, in the course of Life, to be 
able then to work to Perfection, when 
after our death she hath lost them all. 
If they tell me, over and over again, 
that she needeth not these Instruments 
for performing her Functions, I'll tell 
them e'en so, That then all the Blind 
about the Streets ought to be Whipt at 
a Carts-Arse, for playing the Counter- 
feits in pretending not to See a bit." 

He would have gone on in such im- 
pertinent Arguments, had not I stopt 
his Mouth, by desiring him to forbear, 
as he did for fear of a quarrel ; for he 
perceived I began to be in a heat : So 
that he departed, and left me admiring 
the People of that World, amongst* 
whom even the meanest have Naturally 
so much Wit; whereas those of ours 
have so little, and yet so dearly bought. 


Of the Author' s Return to the Earth, 

At length my Love for my Country 
took me off of the desire and thoughts 
I had of staying there ; I minded noth- 
ing now but to be gone ; but I saw so 
much impossibility in the matter, that 
it made me quite peevish and melan- 
cholick. My Spirit observed it, and 
having asked me, What was the reason 
that my Humor was so much altered? 
I frankly told him the Cause of my 
Melancholy ; but he made me such fair 
Promises concerning my Return, that 
I relied wholly upon him. I acquainted 
the Council with my design ; who sent 
for me, and made me take an Oath, that 
I should relate in our World, all that I 
had seen in that. My Pass-ports then 
were expeded, and my Spirit having 
made necessary Provisions for so long 
a Voyage, asked me, What part of my 
Country I desired to light in? I told 

214 A Voyage to the Moon 

him, that since most of the Rich Youths 
of Paris^ once in their life time, made a 
Journey to Rovie ; imagining after that 
that there remained no more worth the 
doing or seeing; I prayed him to be so 
good as to let me imitate them. 

"But withal," said I, '"in what Ma- 
chine shall we perform the Voyage, and 
what Orders do you think the Mathe- 
matician, who talked t'other day of 
joyning this Globe to ours, will give 
rae? " " As to the Mathematician, " said 
he, *' let that be no hinderance to you ; 
for he is a Man who promises much, 
and performs little or nothing. And 
as to the Machine that's to carry you 
back, it shall be the same which brought 
you to Court." "How," said I, "will 
the Air become as solid as the Earth, to 
bear your steps? I cannot believe that :" 
"And it is strange," replied he, "that 
you should believe, and not believe. 
Pray why should the Witches of your 
World, who march in the Air, and con- 
duct whole Armies of Hail, Snow, Rain, 
and other Meteors, from one Province 

Return to the Earth 2 1 5 

into another, have more Power than 
we? Pray have a little better opinion 
of me, than to think I would impose 
upon you." '' The truth is/' said I, " I 
have received so many good Offices 
from you, as well as Socrates^ and the 
rest, for w^hom you have [had] so great 
kindness, that I dare trust my self in 
your hands, as now 1 do, resigning my 
self heartily up to you." 

I had no sooner said the word, but he 
rose like a Whirl-wind, and holding 
me between his Arms, without the least 
uneasiness he made me pass that vast 
space which Astronomers reckon be- 
twixt the Moon and us, in a day and a 
halfs time; which convinced me that 
they tell a Lye who say that a Mill- 
stone would be Three Hundred Three- 
score, and I know not how many years 
more, in falling from Heaven, since I 
was so short a while in dropping down 
from the Globe of the Moon upon this. 
At length, about the beginning of the 
Second day, I perceived I was drawing 
near our World; since I could already 

21 6 A Voyage to the Moon 

distinguish Europe from Africa^ and 
both irora Asia ; when I smelt Brim- 
stone which I saw steaming out of a 
very high Mountain/ that incommoded 
me so much that I fainted away upon it. 
I cannot tell what befel me after- 
wards ; but coming to my self again, I 
found I was amongst Briers on the side 
of a Hill, amidst some Shepherds, who 
spoke Italian. I knew not what was 
become of my Spirit, and I asked the 
Shepherds if they had not seen him. 
At that word they made the sign of the 
Cross, and looked upon me as if I had 
been a Devil my self : But when I told 
them that I was a Christian, and that I 
begg'd the Charity of them, that they 
would lead me to some place where I 
might take a little rest ; they conducted 
me into a Village, about a Mile off; 
where no sooner was I come but all the 
Dogs of the place, from the least Cur 
to the biggest Mastiff, flew upon me, 
and had torn me to pieces, if I had not 
found a House wherein I saved my 

1 Vesuvius. 

Return to the Earth 217 

self: But that hindered them not to 
continue their Barking and Bawh'ng, 
so that the Master of the House began 
to look upon me with an Evil Eye ; and 
really I think, as people are very appre- 
hensive when Accidents which they 
look upon to be ominous happen, that 
man could have delivered me up as a 
Prey to these accursed Beasts, had not 
I bethought my self that that which 
madded them so much at me, was the 
World from whence I came; because 
being accustomed to bark at the Moon, 
they smelt I was come from thence, by 
the scent of my Cloaths, which stuck to 
me as a Sea-smell hangs about those who 
have been long on Ship-board, for some 
time after they come ashore. To Air 
myself then, I lay three or four hours in 
the Sun, upon a Terrass-walk ; and being 
afterwards come down, the Dogs, who 
smelt no more that influence which had 
made me their Enemy, left barking, and 
peaceably went to their several homes. 
Next day I parted for Rome^ where I 
saw the ruins of the Triumphs of some 

21 8 A Voyage to the Moon 

great men, as well as of Ages: I ad- 
mired those lovely Relicks; and the 
Repairs of some of them made by the 
Modern. At length, having stayed 
there a fortnight in Company of Mon- 
sieur de Cyrano my Cousin, who ad- 
vanced me Money for my Return, I 
went to Civita veccliia^ and embarked 
in a Galley that carried me to Marseilles. 
During all this Voyage, my mind run 
upon nothing but the Wonders of the 
last I made. At that time I began the 
Memoires of it; and after my return, 
put them into as good order, as Sick- 
ness, which confines me to Bed, would 
permit. But foreseeing, that it will 
put an end to all my Studies, and 
Travels ; * that I may be as good as my 
w^ord to the Council of that World ; I 
have begg'd of Monsienr le Bret^ my 
dearest and most constant Friend, that 
he would publish them with the His- 
tory of the Repiiblick of the Snn^ that of 
the Sparky and some other Pieces of my 
Composing, if those who have Stolen 

iFr., "travaux," i.e.^ old English Travails. 

Return to the Earth 219 

them from us restore them to him, as I 
earnestly adjure them to do/ 

1 The Manuscript of the Bibliothiqtie Nationak 
ends differently: "I enquired at the port when a 
ship would leave for France. And when I was 
embarked, my mind ran upon nothing but the 
Wonders of my Voyage. I admired a thousand 
times the Providence of God who had set apart 
these naturally Infidel men in a place by them- 
selves where they could not corrupt his Beloved ; 
and had punished them for their pride by abandon- 
ing them to their own self-suf6.ciency. Likewise I 
doubt not that he has put off till now the sending 
of any to preach the Gospel to them, for the very 
reason that he knew they would receive it ill ; and 
so, hardening their hearts, it would serve but to 
make them deserve the harsher punishment in the 
world to come." 

This is very likely the original ending of the 
work as it was circulated in Manuscript between 
1649 ^^^ 1655. In any case, the particular thrust- 
and-parry used here is a favorite stroke with the 
" libertins " of the epoch in their duels against 
'' Les Prejuges." " These are not my opinions and 
arguments," they say; " Heaven forbid ! . . . They 
only express the ideas of my characters — which of 
course I abhor." At the same time the arguments 
have been stated, which was the object in view. 
Cyrano has several times used this method already, 
notably at the end of Chapter xvi. 

The ending in the text above, that of all- the 
editions, may have been substituted by Cyrano 
himself during his last illness. 


NOV 8 *^ 




001 471 131 4